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Virtual humans for connected health

Authors: Gunner Gamborg 

Published By: WFOT Bulletin

Published On: May 2015 


There is a growing need for applications that can dynamically interact with aging populations to gather information, monitor their health care, provide information, or even act as companions. Virtual human agents or virtual characters offer a technology that can enable human users to overcome the confusing interfaces found in current human-computer interactions. These artificially intelligent virtual characters have speech recognition, natural language and vision that will allow human users to interact with their computers in a more natural way. Additionally, sensors may be used to monitor the environment for specific behaviors that can be fused into a virtual human system. As a result, the virtual human may respond to a patient or elderly person in a manner that will have a powerful affect on their living situation. This paper will describe the virtual human technology developed and some current applications that apply the technology to virtual patients for mental health diagnosis and clinician training. Additionally the paper will discuss possible ways in which the virtual humans may be utilized for assisted health care and for the integration of multi-modal input to enhance the virtual human system.

Category: Communication Connected Health International Perspectives Medication Management Smart Homes & Environmental Controls Social Engagement

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

Video capture virtual reality as a flexible and effective rehabilitation tool

Video capture virtual reality (VR) uses a video camera and software to track movement in a single plane without the need to place markers on specific bodily locations. The user's image is thereby embedded within a simulated environment such that it is possible to interact with animated graphics in a completely natural manner. Although this technology first became available more than 25 years ago, it is only within the past five years that it has been applied in rehabilitation. The objective of this article is to describe the way this technology works, to review its assets relative to other VR platforms, and to provide an overview of some of the major studies that have evaluated the use of video capture technologies for rehabilitation.



Category: Connected Health Smart AT General

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

Re-conceptualizing disability and assistive technology: Australian consumers driving policy change

For people living with a disability, enablers such as assistive technologies, environmental modifications and personal care can make the difference between living fully and merely existing. This article is written from the standpoints of people with disabilities and professionals in one Australian State who found their government and service system to be a constraining rather than an enabling force. It presents two key components of policy and practice change in the area of assistive technology: challenging understandings of disability, assistive technology, and the desired life outcomes that assistive technology contributes to; and building a public evidence base through consumer-focussed research. In short, government funding of assistive technology needs to move beyond a limited focus on functional needs and take responsibility for fully equipping people to live the lives they aspire to.

Category: Local Perspectives Policy & Funding Quality & Standards Smart Homes & Environmental Controls

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

Policy development: assistive technology in a Danish context

Authors: Gunner Gamborg

Published By: WFOT Bulletin

Published On: May 2015

With consideration for the individual and socio-economic perspective of the use of assistive technology, the Danish Association of Occupational Therapists (Ergoterapeutforeningen) has developed and adopted a policy paper with principles and recommendations. Recommendations include the need for increased research, education and training, as well as the establishment of a specialist society to promote documentation, evidence and increased public knowledge of assistive technology. Producing policy papers is important for promotion of occupational therapy services, strategies and research to stakeholders at all levels of society.

Category: Allied Health International Perspectives Quality & Standards Workforces Considerations

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

Workplace response to virtual caregiver support and remote home monitoring of elders: the WIN project

Research has demonstrated the health and financial cost to working caregivers of older adults and the cost to business in lost productivity. This paper describes the implementation of the Worker Interactive Networking (WIN) project, a Web-based program designed to support employed caregivers at work. WIN innovatively linked working caregivers via the Internet to home to monitor elders’ status using wireless sensor technology and included an online information and support group for a six-month period.

Twenty-seven employees from thirteen business sites participated. Despite problems with wireless carrier service, feasibility outcomes were achieved. We were able to collect six months of continuous real time data wirelessly from multiple types of homes across 4 states. This model demonstrates that businesses can offer a similar program and not be overwhelmed by employee demand or abuse of technology access. Reluctance to consider home monitoring was apparent and was influenced by familial relationships and values of privacy and independence.

Category: International Perspectives Smart AT General Smart Homes & Environmental Controls Workforces Considerations

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

Impact analysis of Smart Assistive Technologies for people with Dementia

Authors: Trudy Yuginovich, Jeffrey Soar and Ying Su

Faculty of Business & Law, University of Southern Queensland

Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China

Year of Publication: 2012


Aims: To trial the use of a range of available Smart Assistive Technologies for people with dementia and their families.


Summary: The disability support and aged care sectors have not to date taken full advantage of assistive and other relevant technologies; there is a massive unmet need for greater support and a significant level of issues that are not addressed. There are a range of potential benefits of Smart Assistive Technologies for people with dementia, their families and carers. This small study confirmed some of these whilst confirmation of other potential benefits will require more research.

Category: Allied Health Communication Domestic Assistance Local Perspectives Regional Service Delivery Robotics Smart Homes & Environmental Controls

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

The acceptability of assistive technology to older people

Assistive technology (AT) is defined in this paper as ‘any device or system that allows an individual to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed’ (Cowan and Turner-Smith 1999). Its importance in contributing to older people’s independence and autonomy is increasingly recognised, but there has been little research into the viability of extensive installations of AT. This paper focuses on the acceptability of AT to older people, and reports one component of a multidisciplinary research project that examined the feasibility, acceptability, costs and outcomes of introducing AT into their homes. Sixty-seven people aged 70 or more years were interviewed in-depth during 2001 to find out about their use and experience of a wide range of assistive technologies. The findings suggest a complex model of acceptability, in which a ‘ felt need’ for assistance combines with ‘product quality’. The paper concludes by considering the tensions that may arise in the delivery of acceptable assistive technology.

Category: Domestic Assistance International Perspectives Smart AT General Smart Homes & Environmental Controls

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

The acceptability of assistive technology to older people

 

Assistive technology (AT) is defined in this paper as ‘any device or system that allows

an individual to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or

increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed’ (Cowan

and Turner-Smith 1999). Its importance in contributing to older people’s independence

and autonomy is increasingly recognised, but there has been little research

into the viability of extensive installations of AT. This paper focuses on

the acceptability of AT to older people, and reports one component of a multidisciplinary

research project that examined the feasibility, acceptability, costs and

outcomes of introducing AT into their homes. Sixty-seven people aged 70 or

more years were interviewed in-depth during 2001 to find out about their use and

experience of a wide range of assistive technologies. The findings suggest a

complex model of acceptability, in which a ‘ felt need’ for assistance combines

with ‘product quality’. The paper concludes by considering the tensions that may

arise in the delivery of acceptable assistive technology.

Category: Domestic Assistance Smart Homes & Environmental Controls

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago

Assistive Health Technologies For Independent Living

Assistive health technologies have the potential to improve health outcomes and quality of life, reduce healthcare costs and offer solutions for independent living, particularly for the aged and people with disability. Despite the benefits provided by these health technologies, the deployment and use in Australia is limited. The aim of this project was to explore the question: “Can the participation of experts from a range of disciplines in a user-centred network improve the adoption of assistive technologies to enable healthy and fulfilling independent living for people who are aged and people with disability?”

Category: Local Perspectives Policy & Funding Quality & Standards Workforces Considerations

Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 3 years ago