With a rapidly ageing population, declining workforce and increasing life expectancy, new ways of improving rehabilitation to elderlies are crucial to 1) enable older adults to live independent lives at home for longer 2) decrease the burden of caregivers and public spending to rehabilitation in the social sector.
With the use of VR glasses in different rehabilitation set-ups, Aarhus Municipality (in DK) wants to test if rehabilitation can be reduced by enabling caregivers to integrate VR as an opportunity for the citizens to train by themselves. VR glasses are easy to use and can be used e.g. in the citizens’ home, hospitals or at rehabilitation centres.
To be tested in this project is our assumption that VR glasses will give the citizen more independence, better quality of life, and lead to cost savings due to reduced training periods carried out by public caregivers.
In what domains will we experiment with VR?
AAL application domains: Health & Care, Work & Training, Vitality & Abilities
Aarhus Municipality aims to explore the requirements and validate the benefits of implementing VR technology with different types of end-users as a technology in line with other rehabilitation equipment.
We want to choose different areas of rehabilitation that can motivate “self-training”, where fewer resources from caregivers are needed. in collaboration with new consortia partners we will identify relevant training contexts/test areas where VR can be applied, for example:
- Citizen training of VR, so that the citizen is empowered to train without help from caregivers
- User training with VR glasses. When the citizen has become familiar with the use of the technology, the VR glasses will be handed over to the citizen for training outside the normal training
- Citizens, who are bedridden, can also be included in the training
Every partner chooses an area, where the VR glasses can be tested, for example:
- New bedridden patients
- Citizens with halt-side paralysis will be trained in daily activities as making coffee
- Citizens with upcoming dementia will be trained in daily activities
- Common rehabilitation programs such as shoulder and hip operated patients
- Common weakening after sickness – VR with gaming as an example – engaging and motivating
The number of citizens in the program should be 7 to 10.
The test can take place at a centre for rehabilitation, in the home of the citizen, in a hospital setting, etc. Every partner prepares baseline measurements and final measurements in order to describe outcomes from the project - and make data applicable to other sectors and future projects.
What are the methods for validating our results?
A common evaluation design will be developed with:
- A semi-structured interview with the citizen before and after testing – inspired by COPM (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure)
- A baseline measurement of the citizen with methods used today, as validated physical part and power measurements
- Time measurements of the caregiver's resources used together with the citizen (A to A time) and preparation/documentation time etc.
- The citizens will be divided into two groups – one group gets traditional training, and the other gets both traditional training and training with VR glasses
- The two groups will be measured
- Data will be collected and presumptions and findings will be drawn out
- A business case with quantitative and qualitative data will be made
What is the process for implementation?
A report with instructions of which type of training with VR glasses giving the best effect both for citizens and the caregivers, will be made on the presumptions and findings. A method on how to implement will be suggested with a description of the target group and the training methods. Also, a recommendation for the caregivers in use of the VR glasses with teaching and practising time.
The above-mentioned tests only give conjectures for a business case. The results could be used for more testing within the specific areas, that gives value to the individual country.
Open the market for ICT-solutions: Through the tests, different solutions for rehabilitation will be explored, and we aim to identify further development within other areas and in additional contexts. ICT solutions could be developed by companies/specialists within the area.