Evaluating A VR-based Box and Blocks Test for Automatic Assessment of Manual Dexterity: A Preliminary Study in Parkinson’s Disease

Opportunities of using Virtual Reality (VR) techno-logy for the automation of clinical procedures in general, and for the assessment of motor function in particular, have not been fully explored in Parkinson’ disease (PD). For that purpose, a game-like version of the Box and Blocks Test (BBT) for automatic assessment of hand motor function in VR was built. This system uses the Leap Motion Controller (LMC) for hand tracking and the Oculus Rift for a fully immersive experience.

Assessment of manual dexterity in VR: Towards a fully-automated version of the Box and Blocks Test

In recent years, the possibility of using serious gaming technology for the automation of clinical procedures for assessment of motor function have captured the interest of the research community. In this paper, a virtual version of the Box and Blocks Test (BBT) for manual dexterity assessment is presented. This game-like system combines the classical BBT mechanics with a play-centric approach to accomplish a fully automated test for assessing hand motor function, making it more accessible and easier to administer.

A Virtual Reality Game-like Tool for Assessing the Risk of Falling in the Elderly

In recent years, the use of interactive game technology has gained much interest in the research community as a means to measure indicators associated with the risk of falling in the elderly. Input devices used for gaming offer an inexpensive but yet reliable alternative to the costly apparatuses used in clinics and medical centers. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of using virtual reality technology as a tool to assess the risk of falling in the senior community in a more immersive, intuitive and descriptive manner.

Solitaire Fitness: Design of an asynchronous exergame for the elderly to enhance cognitive and physical ability

The use of exergames has shown positive results in encouraging the elderly to increase their motivation towards physical activity and rehabilitation. These games usually offer playful routines that require players to perform full body movements in order to interact with the game. While this is often well-received by elderly users, this approach has some limitations that can lead to negative effects in the aged cohort. The main one being, that gameplay and exercise must happen concurrently.

Using Asynchronous Exergames to Encourage an Active Ageing Lifestyle: Solitaire Fitness Study Protocol

A healthy and active lifestyle can significantly improve the well-being and quality of life; however, elderly often struggle to stay motivated and engaged with any form of exercise. The project Elaine (Elderly, AI and New Experiences) addresses this problem by seeking to improve the quality of life of the Elderly through exergames. Currently, the project explores a novel approach in the field of health informatics called asynchronous exergaming.

Mysterious Murder - MCTS-driven Murder Mystery Generation

We present an approach to procedurally generate the narrative of a simple murder mystery. To do so, we use the rule evaluation system as implemented by Ceptre, which employs linear logic to resolve valid actions during each step of the simulation. We extend this system with a concept of believable agents to make consecutive actions appear to have a causal connection so that players can comprehend the °ow of events. The parts of the generated narratives are then presented to a player whose task it is to figure out who the murderer in this story could have been.

Evaluating Balance Recovery Techniques for Users Wearing Head-Mounted Display in VR

Room-scale 3D position tracking allows users to explore the virtual environment by physically walking. However, since the eyesight of the user is blocked by a Head-Mounted Display (HMD), the user might lose her balance because of bumping into real-world obstacles or shifting the body weight onto virtual objects that are inexistent in the real-world. This paper investigates assistive fall recovery methods under the assumption that the onset of the fall is given. Our experiment simulated the forward loss-of-balance with a tether-release protocol.

PhD student's success at national awards

Congratulations to UTS PhD student Jaime Garcia for his recent win at the 2015 Health Informatics Society of Australia Awards. Jaime won the Branko Cesnik Award for the best scientific student paper, 'Step Kinnection: A fall prevention game mindfully designed for the Elderly'.

The winning paper describes the design considerations of Step Kinnection, an interactive game using Microsoft Kinect to prevent falls for elderly people.

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