VR-App for a Virtual Perception of Memory Impairment in Alzheimer’s Patients
Authors: Anis Jedidi, Faiez Gargouri, Fahmi Bellalouna, Mika Luimula
Abstract: Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality Technology (AR / VR / MR) - also known as xR technology - is one of the key technologies of digital transformation. Thanks to the existing powerful immersive hardware systems, complex technical and natural systems can be digitally represented in a realistic virtual environment. This enables users to completely immerse in the virtual environment and to observe and interact with the systems and objects contained therein without major restrictions, or to augment real products and systems with digital data in runtime. This creates new opportunities to present the behaviour and functionalities of complex systems in a tangible and understandable way. Therefore, the xR technology can revolutionize learning and training methods, especially in the qualification of specialists and experts. This paper will introduce the international project “International Cooperation on VR/AR Projects” (IC xR-P). The target of “IC xR-P” is the implementation of a practice-oriented xR training applications in the areas of medical training, rescue and Knowledge transfer in schools and universities and their testing and evaluation with selected experts. “IC xR-P” is an international cooperation between the University of Applied Sciences Karlsruhe from Germany, University of Applied Sciences Turku from Finland and the Higher Institute of Computer Science and Multimedia Sfax from Tunisia. Among the learning projects in the ICxRP, we focus in this paper on the implementation of VR training apps for medical training in this paper, we centred on the Perception of Memory Impairment in Alzheimer’s Patients. Patients with early Alzheimer’s disease may have spatial and time-oriented disorders. The objective is to use immersion in a virtual environment. This allows the user to experience a multisensory experience during which the user can feel and interact naturally and intuitively in real time via sensory interfaces. VR offers different levels of interaction, from the minimum level where the subject remains passive, looking at the environment, to more interactive levels where the subject is active, controlling its movement to the first person in the virtual environment via various interaction tools immersive.Within this project a VR-Training App will be designed and implemented, which fulfill the following functions with different virtual games facilitating the communication of the patient with the virtual environment. This application can develop the creating immersion and feeling of presence in patients. Also, we propose Family/Entourage Show service, it’s a memory stimulation exercise by integrating the family photos. We propose in addition a VR creation of patients’ usual living environment (home, hallway, bedroom…). We improve the valuing specific objects and places in the house to facilitate the orientation and the exploration of the environment. Finally, we propose à musical Training service: it offers a question-answer game that aims to stimulate the patient’s memory. From here, player can choose which exercise they want to play or focused on. We propose the orientation exercise, the memory exercise with the card-game, the recognizing game, and the exercise of leisure activities. These last exercises will also stimulate their memory by singing along to some songs, guessing animals, and making a tasty hamburger following the right steps. For most of the game, there will always be an evaluation of the player’s performance at the end. It will either displays on the television screen or a screen will pop out to show the results.
Keywords: Virtual Reality, perception of memory, Alzheimer’s patients, immersive tools, VR gaming
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