BDIGITAL congress, Barcelona

21-may-2009 – NEW Technologies for Personal Health Systems [program]

This session featured four interesting talks on the use of technology to support personal health. Kiefer presented a system to improve cancer management through biosensor cartridges that could communicate test results to a remote doctor. Verschure presented a virtual reality rehabilitation game for people that suffered of a stroke. Leeb presented a brain-computer interface that could extend rehabilitation games to people that could not operate a computer using their hands. Finally, Dalton presented a platform for supporting behavioral cognitive therapy through the internet.


STEPHAN KIEFER -Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering. Smart Integrated Biodiagnostic personal health systems for improved cancer management (SmartHEALTH). EU founded project. Multiple tests in a single device at the proteome and genome level. The project has the objective to design biosensors and markers that can be used to diagnose the clinical evolution of cancer. They are researching protein markers for detecting breast cancer using protein markers and mRNA markers. They are developing a Transmission Plasmon sensor which allosw quantitative measurements of … Intelligent Biodiagnostic Devices are able to task to each-other using an ad-hoc network and then to communicate their readings to a clinical laboratory terminal often situated in a hospital. Interpretation of multi parameter cancer marker measurement is achieved with machine learning techniques like Trained Neural Networksa nd Support Vector Machine.

PAUL VERSCHURE – Universitat Pompeu Fabra – Rehabilitation Gaming System- Healing the brain by becoming a cyborg. Gost in the Shell, 1989. Cyborgs are a bridge between mind and matter. The three pillars of the cyborg: augmentation, replacement and substitution. Rehabilitation Gaming Paradigm (2003). 1989. Cognitive Rehabilitation Games. They took people that suffered a stroke attack. The objective is to recovery a substrate of neuro cells that surround the area affected by the strokeā€¦ Distributed Adaptive Control: Lost functions can be recovered compensated through engaving live-long cortical plasticity. They designed a game that using visualstimuli stimulated the users to perform movements that can stimulate areas of the brain that can then repair and substiture the broken areas. They used an open source solution: TORQUE. They measured a number of design variable for the game like the speed of the stimuli and the areas of interaction and they performed statistica comparisons beteen these parameters. They measured positive effects of being exposed to this rehabilitation. They are now inquiring haptic techniques and eye-tracking techniques.

ROBERT LEEB. Thought-driven control of virtual world. It is designed for people that after an accident are unable to control a PC. Brain-Computer Interfaces: Scalp Electroenchephalogram (EEG). certain brain patterns are correlated to specific mental tasks. These brain patterns have particular characteristics, such as timing, amplitude, frequency, and topography. They tried to simulate a wheelchair movement in VE and performed a case study with a tetraplegic. Brain-Computer Interface can be an additional exclusive communication channel.

KAYE DALTON. Beating the blues: cognitive behavioral therapy. One in five adults suffer an episode of depression or anxiety in ayear. 80% of people are managed in primary care. There are drugs that are demonstrated to be effective. However, there are side effects. Their company is interested in Cyber Psychology: the advantages of computer theraphy is that it is time effective and cost effective. There is an increased acceptability bacause of the anonymity given by the internet. The presenter listed a number of previous studies on the use of computers in theraphy. Beating the Blues is the world most fully realised computer programme for enxiety and depression; standardized provision of psychological therapies on best practice. Cognitive Behaviour theraphy is a form of therephy that used a structured form of interaction between the therapist and the patience. The challenges to make this online is the ability of maintaining credibility and maintain a therapeutic alliance. The efficacy of the program was published in Computers in human Behaviour, 19, 277-289. The objective of the trial was to tes the software, functionality, etc. They also measured a reduction of anxiety and depression in a general practive. They also benchmarked the online threatement against F2F threatement and they proved comparable results. They fond less certified days off sick compared to control group. Is suitable for a wide variety of patients.

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