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VirtRehab 2013 : Virtual and Augmented Reality Systems for Upper Limbs Rehabilitation

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Link: http://www.neurotechnix.org/VirtRehab.aspx
 
When Sep 18, 2013 - Sep 20, 2013
Where Algarve, Portugal
Submission Deadline Jun 30, 2013
Notification Due Jul 12, 2013
Final Version Due Jul 25, 2013
Categories    virtual reality   rehabilitation
 

Call For Papers

Currently, several Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) based systems are presented as novel and relevant tools in neurorehabilitation, allowing the development of rehabilitation treatments beyond the traditional methods of work.
The use of AR and VR is particular effective in combination with Robotic Rehabilitation (RR).
In this special session both medical and engineering issues are addressed in order to explore which type of solutions or research trends are currently active in this field and can support the health system.
Original papers presenting evidence for the effectiveness of those types of applications or investigating the integration of VR/AR and robotics in the upper limb rehabilitation will be in the scope of this session.

Impaired upper limb function is one of the most common consequences in central nervous system. In contrast with lower limbs, upper limbs have extensive functionally due to the mobility of numerous joints that can execute fine movements thanks to complex neuromuscular control. Hand function impairment caused by a neurological disorder such as stroke and spinal cord injury has a high impact on the independence and quality of life of the affected person.
The recovery of upper limb, after neurological damage, is complex and requires multidisciplinary and multifactorial approaches.
Intense, interactive and repetitive practices can improve function in the upper extremity of stroke and other neurological pathologies survivors.
Affordable rehabilitation systems for upper limb motion would be useful to provide intensive training to the patients.
The systems based on Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems are presented as a novel and relevant tools in neurorehabilitation, allowing the development of rehabilitation treatments beyond the traditional methods of work.
Virtual and augmented rehabilitation are an extensive terms referring to combinations of computers, human-machine interfaces, and simulation scenarios used to train patients movements in an engaging and motivating way.
Virtual reality is a simulation of a real environment generated by computer in which, through a man-machine interface, it allows the user to interact with certain elements inside a simulated scenario. The most important concepts when talking about virtual reality are: Immersion (sense of presence), and Interaction (with the virtual objects). The user interacts in the virtual environment, which will provide the sensations and perceptions, by performing functional tasks or play on different difficulty levels.
Augmented reality is the term used to define a direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are combined with virtual elements to visually augment in real-time the reality. It consists of a set of devices that add virtual information to the existing physical information.
The use of AR and VR is particular effective in combination with Robotic Rehabilitation (RR).
The RR devices are tools specifically developed to assist and perform exercises for recovering lost functions, and to provide safe and intensive rehabilitation to persons with mild to severe motor impairments after neurologic injury. Robotic devices can be used to guide the affected arm by high-intensity, task-specific movements rather like physical therapy exercises, that is, by repetitive and functional movements. These systems can also provide force feedback, measure speed, direction, and strength of residual voluntary activity, and interactively evaluate patients’ movements and assist them in moving the limb through a predetermined trajectory during a given motor task.
The use of these devices (and their combination) in rehabilitation can provide high-intensity, repetitive, task-specific, interactive treatment of the impaired upper limb and can serve as an objective and reliable means of monitoring patient progress. These systems can also provide an intuitive interface to the users with programmable environment and realism feelings.

The main objective of the clinician is to improve daily functioning in the real world, which requires the transfer of skills training or task with these systems to the real world. The engineer professional experience will help update the potential of these devices as a rehabilitation tool.
In this special session both medical and engineering issues are addressed in order to explore which type of solutions or research trends are currently active in this field and can support the health system.
Researches on the integration of VR/AR and robotics in the upper limb rehabilitation are really welcome.
Papers that systematically review the evidence for the effectiveness of those types of applications on rehabilitation outcomes within a physical context will be of interest as well.

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