Meet the Therapy Lens project
The Therapy Lens app uses the latest augmented reality technology in order to provide virutal support for patients with neurological diseases living at home. The Therapy Lens project is one of EIT Health’s Innovation projects.
The Therapy Lens project focused on supporting people suffering from dementia at home using augmented reality (AR) technology. Dementia patients typically struggle with activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning and taking medication, at home. Existing support solutions are limited and mainly rely on ambulant caregivers with a majority of the burden placed on the family. To help ease the burden of these informal caregivers and to provide dementia patients with an additional form of support at home, the Therapy Lens project explored the ways in which AR technology could be used as an innovative solution to these problems. The five project partners worked closely with dementia patients, informal caregivers and clinicians in order to co-design an AR application that would address the specific needs of dementia patients. The involvement of the key stakeholders in the design and development process was extremely rewarding. This helped to ensure that our AR app stayed on target for addressing the unmet needs of dementia patients.
The Therapy Lens app provides patients with seven support features.
The main output from this project work in 2017 was the development of an augmented reality application for the Microsoft HoloLens head mounted display. This device is worn on a dementia patient’s head providing them with an unobtrusive view of their real world. Holograms are then placed inside the patient’s field of view relative to their real environment. The Therapy Lens app provides patients with seven support features. The app has three orientation games (Click, gaze and Drag&Drag) designed to familiarize patients with the AR device and to explore how they can interact with the Holograms. Two AR games focusing on short-term memory and tea making are designed to stimulate patients in a fun environment while also providing the potential for assessing these basic skills at home. A tagging feature allows dementia patients to place an AR visual tag in important locations around their home. This provides patients with clickable AR tags that reveal context specific visual reminders that can support them in their daily routine at home. The app also supports dementia patients during the performance of real daily activities at home. Currently, the app supports patients in preparing a cup of tea using AR animated cues designed to guide patients through each step of this daily activity.
The project partners are currently exploring opportunities for expanding the work of Therapy Lens with the aim of further developing this approach. The project has also developed a separate stream of research on the use of AR to support the elderly and people suffering from dementia. These ongoing research projects continue to build on the work of Therapy Lens through Master and PhD students at RWTH Aachen, Imec/VUB and TUM.
The Therapy Lens app is available for free download on the official Microsoft HoloLens App Store.
Project Partners: Technical University Munich, RWTH Aachen, MADoPA, Imec and CapDigital
Project website: www.therapylens.com
Project Coordinator: Dr. Alan Armstrong – Technical University Munich