Innovative and “playful” tele-rehabilitation solutions for older adults led by INCRA

In January, kick-off for RecoveryFun, an innovative project where Virtual Reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are used for a tele-rehabilitation system tailored to older people. With exergames and Virtual Reality, the recovery from a chronic condition, or after an acute event, does not have to be tiring and boring, but can be enjoyable and fun. The research and industrial consortium consist of 7 partners from 4 countries: IRCCS-INRCA and Tech4care (Italy); iHomeLab and ZURZACH Care (Switzerland), Unmatched and TRAINM (Belgium), Canary Technology Innovations (Romania). A good balance between business of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), end user and technical/scientific expertise allows a holistic approach for this high potential project.

The financial value of the grant is 2.5 million €, allocated in the 30 months of duration. The project is cofounded by Active Assistive Living – Ageing Well in the Digital World (AAL) EU Program, in collaboration with Ministry of health and Ministry of University and Research in Italy, Innosuisse in Switzerland, UEFISCDI in Romania and Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen in Belgium, led by IRCCS-INRCA as overall management and partners’ coordinator. The main objective is to enhance rehabilitation opportunities for people with chronic health conditions that today are often receiving sub-optimal care, with an approach that goes beyond a disease-centered approach, and addresses also frailty prevention.

RecoveryFun will offer a new modular solution for a proactive, integrated, personalized home rehabilitation management, leveraging current technological trends in the domains of Virtual Reality, IoT connectivity and Artificial intelligence. This toolkit, addressed primarily upper limb rehabilitation and cognitive stimulation, is composed by:

  • A set of exergames for people with rehabilitation needs based on VR technology;
  • A digital health record management platform for clinicians;
  • An IoT connected ecosystem, integrating innovative sensors for monitoring real-time biosignals of the users;
  • A mobile App for non-professional caregivers that allows them to monitor the rehabilitation plan of their relatives;
  • A set of smart and intelligent services.

This is a spectrum of effective and technologically advanced telemedicine solutions, with benefits, in terms of constant medical care and assistance, systemic cost-effectiveness and benefits for patients (especially older adults with multimorbidity and degenerative diseases), time-efficiency of healthcare personnel, that are increasingly relevant every day, in particular as a consequence of the Covid-19 emergency scenario.