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Game-Assisted Rehabilitation for Post-Stroke Survivors

27 Sep
Friday, 09/27/2019 10:00am to 11:00am
Computer Science Building, Room 140
Speaker: Hee-Tae Jung
 Stroke is a leading cause of permanent impairments in motor and cognitive function among its survivors, which negatively affect their performance of activities of daily living and quality of life. Although patients need to go through intensive, longitudinal rehabilitation in order to regain motor and cognitive function before the stroke, research and clinical communities consider discharging patients early and engaging them with rehabilitation therapies in their home setting in order to reduce the cost of stroke rehabilitation. However, patients often show poor engagement and adherence to rehabilitation therapies, especially when access to therapists is limited, which hampers their recovery. As a means to enhance stroke survivors' motivation, engagement, and adherence to intensive and longitudinal rehabilitation in hospital and home settings, the use of games in stroke rehabilitation has received substantial attention from research and clinical communities. In order to realize this, it is important to take a holistic, end-to-end research approach that encompasses 1) the development of serious game technologies that are not only entertaining but also effectively stimulating the target impairments to rehabilitate or accurately monitoring the functional/impairment level (i.e., outcomes of rehabilitation), 2) the quantitative evaluation of the clinical efficacy of the developed technologies to improve or assess the target impairments, and 3) the deployment of the technologies in real-world clinical settings to understand if the anticipated clinical efficacy is achieved and how the technologies affect the interaction dynamics among the stakeholders (i.e., patients and therapists) and the technologies.
In this talk, we introduce our approach to this holistic, end-to-end research for the development, validation, and understanding of real-world use of serious games in stroke rehabilitation. Towards that end, we designed and developed Neuro-World---a collection of six serious mobile games---that can enable accurate, longitudinal assessment of patients' cognitive function outside the clinical setting, in collaboration with Woorisoft Inc. More specifically, we designed Neuro-World to stimulate short-term memory and selected attention in stroke survivors based on neuropsychological findings that the various aspects of human cognition can be explained using these two components. We propose a novel approach that estimates stroke survivors' cognitive function in Mini-Mental State Examination---a clinically-accepted standardized assessment tool---based on their game performance while self-administering Neuro-World. The analysis results in the controlled setting show that the proposed approach can accurately assess patients' cognitive function without the help of therapists. While it remains as a future study to deploy Neuro-World in stroke survivors' free-living environments and study the system's impacts on patients' engagement patterns, we use another serious game platform (i.e., RAPAEL Smart Board) to demonstrate our efforts to understand the real-world interaction dynamics between stakeholders (i.e., stroke survivors and therapists) and technologies. RAPAEL Smart Board system is a commercially available game-assisted rehabilitation tool specifically designed to rehabilitate gross-arm movements in stroke survivors. We investigate the use of RAPAEL Smart Board in the actual hospital setting where the system has been adopted as part of stroke survivors' routine upper-limb motor rehabilitation therapies. Our findings show that patients exhibit unexpected engagement patterns, therapists play critical roles in maintaining patients' engagement and therapeutic value, and therapists face challenges while assuming their roles. These findings enhance our understanding of the impact of serious games on the patients' engagement to rehabilitation therapies and provide us with insights into potential directions leading to the development of more effective games for stroke rehabilitation.


Speaker's Bio: Hee-Tae Jung is a post-doctoral researcher in the AHHA lab. He received his BS from Yonsei University, MS from Stanford University, and Ph.D. from UMass Amherst, all in Computer Science. He takes a holistic, end-to-end research approach with an essential goal of maximizing the overall quality of the rehabilitation service through technology-assisted therapies. Towards that end, he specifically focuses on three paths.


1) He investigates various ways to use artificial intelligence to rehabilitate patients and monitor their impairments/progress.

2) In a human-computer interaction perspective, he attempts to analyze the interaction dynamics of users during technology-assisted therapies in the real-world setting and to understand the room to advance the contemporary state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology.

3) He conducts clinical studies to understand the therapeutic benefit of technology-assisted therapies in routine clinical settings.
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