Project title: 

HOLOgrams for personalised virtual coaching and motivation in an ageing population with BALANCE disorders

Project acronym: 

HOLOBALANCE


The overall aim is to deliver a radically new cost effective virtual coach, consisting of: (i) a hologram based surrogate balance physiotherapist, (ii) an augmented reality cognitive game, combined with auditory exercises and (iii) a physical activity planner. The virtual coach will be daily accessible by the user to improve balance, cognition and physical activity, by promoting exercise compliance, motivation, functional capacity, self-management and self-monitoring. The long term aim is to promote behavioural changes that maintain the users’ independence and engagement in physical and social activities. Multilevel motivation strategies, real time feedback, online connection and competition between users and a continuous communication channel with the healthcare professional, along with a visual analytics expert panel will be integrated to improve the platform’s outcome.

Duration:

01.12.2017 – 30.11.2020

Funded by:

Horizon 2020 programme, the European Commission

Coordinator:

University of Ioannina, Greece

 

 

HOLOBALANCE objectives:

OBJ1: To perform comprehensive analysis of the evidence basis for concurrent balance, cognitive training and physical activity promotion interventions and formulate a library of guidelines, modeled in an interpretable form to enable the delivery of HOLOBALANCE services.

OBJ2: To design and develop new forms of accessible user interaction, based on holograms and augmented reality games (holograms for balance physiotherapy, augmented reality games for cognitive training and auditory tasks for combined cognitive and auditory training), with customized avatars and environments, using human computer interaction techniques, able to simulate the exercises of the library.

OBJ3: To develop secure cloud services, harnessing the existing IoT environment of C3PO and generic enablers from the FI-WARE catalogue and a sensor network to monitor data from easy to use wearable and motion sensors, enabling the inference of emotional and behavioural data and recording parameters of the execution of exercises, the daily physical activity plan and user satisfaction through the accessible user interaction environment, minimizing the attention theft. Additionally, to develop an expert panel based on visual analytics and the relevant communication mechanisms for carers and healthcare professionals.

OBJ4: To analyze retrospective BP, CT and PA data of the pilot partners (UCL, UOA, KCL, UKLFR) to develop and train autonomous learning algorithms for personalizing the virtual coaching and providing appropriate personalized exercises according to the user’s profile, symptoms, emotional and behavioural data, satisfaction and preferences.

OBJ5: To formulate the multilevel motivational concept of HOLOBALANCE platform, by integrating the customized holograms (selection of avatar and surrounding environment), augmented reality cognitive games, emotional and behavioural modeling with other forms of psychological motivation, including digital badges and virtual communities social networks in order to promote exercise compliance, increased physical activity levels and self-management.

OBJ6: To deliver the virtual coaching platform, through a unified ICT environment for personalized advice, guidance and follow-up of people with balance disorders and to conduct a proof of concept study at the 4 pilot sites (UCL, UOA, KCL, UKLFR) for evaluating the specific outcomes (i.e. Objective tests: MiniBEST, Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), cognitive function domains; subjective questionnaires: Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity Scale (RAPA), Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I), Euroqol (EQ-5D) and Activities Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), as well as assessing the overall platform usability, user interaction experience and impact. The overall duration of the proof of concept study will be 12 months, recruiting in total 80 participants into the intervention group and 80 into the control group.

OBJ7: To utilize the outcomes of objective 6, along with currently available BP, CT and PA guidelines and costs in different healthcare systems and perform a socio-economic analysis of the HOLOBALANCE platform. Additionally, to deliver an exploitation/commercialization and sustainability plan, taking into account the socio-economic analysis, legal, ethical and regulatory requirements, data ownership, the data protection/privacy strategy, potential liabilities and consumer protection. The user preferences and experience with the HOLOBALANCE platform will also be explored, to gain insights on the perceived acceptance, satisfaction and expectations of both the target group as well as the other stakeholders (e.g., physiotherapists, psychologists, healthcare professionals) in the 3 different European geographic regions (Greece, UK, Germany).