20. January 2020 News
Bottrop, 15 January 2020: Within the research project "VAFES", the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences and its partners are developing a "Virtual arm and hand test using machine learning for neurological movement disorders". Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs and Digitisation of the State of NRW, recently handed over the notice of funding. Today, Wednesday, the kick-off meeting of the project partners took place at the HRW Campus.
The arm and hand movements of Parkinson's and stroke patients with spinal cord injuries are often severely restricted. These restrictions have an enormous impact on the quality of life of the patients concerned. A differentiated diagnosis of hand and arm function is of great importance both for therapy control and early detection.
The scientists in the VAFES project want to develop a standardized test system and implement it in Virtual Reality (VR). The recording of multiple bio signals -- in combination with precise motion data -- enables for the first time the use of modern machine learning (ML) algorithms for diagnosis, classification and therapy control of neurologically caused hand and arm dysfunctions.
Therapeutically, the knowledge gained is used for tremor treatment (rhythmic muscle tremor), for establishing VR-supported neurofeedback therapy approaches for movement disorders and for fine calibration of deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease treatment. The developed modular hardware and software components are used clinically / scientifically (VR test environment) as well as economically (test instrument, decoder, active sensor glove).
For its project, the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences and its project partners will receive funding of 2.36 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the next three years.
The Institute of Computer Science at the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences will assume the role of consortium leader with Prof. Dr. Ioannis Iossifidis. Project partners are the RUB University Hospital Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum, represented by Dr. Christian Klaes, the RUB University Hospital Bergmannsheil Bochum, represented by Dr. Matthias Sczesny-Kaiser, and SNAP GmbH, represented by Dr. Corinna Weber.
The so-called lead market competition "IKT.NRW" promotes numerous innovative projects from industry and research in the field of information and communication technologies.
In the final round of the competition, an independent jury recommended eleven projects with 42 participating partners for funding. The total funding from EU and state funds amounts to 16 million euros.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs and Digitisation of the State of NRW, congratulated the project on its funding, is looking forward to the implementation of the ideas and wished the project every success: "Eleven outstanding projects are starting and show that strong consortia from industry and science are actively setting the course for the future. Information and communication technologies are the driving force behind the digital transformation, especially for North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location. This is underlined by the projects funded in the fields of energy, production, mobility, logistics, health or work of the future".