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VIRTUAL REALITY BASED EVALUATION OF MENTAL DISORDERS

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VRMIND (VIRTUAL REALITY BASED EVALUATION OF MENTAL DISORDERS)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31

PROBLEM
The problem and opportunity is derived from the particular nature of mental disorders and the limitations of conventional diagnosing methods. Two remarkable particularities of mental disorders are: (1) The impossibility to diagnose them through physical or chemical parameters. The only way to diagnose a mental disorder is measuring the reactions of the patient to questions, images, sounds or other stimuli; (2) The dependence of the reactions of the patient on the surrounding environment. The response of the same person to a question will be different depending on the other stimuli hitting the target from the environment
Conventional diagnosis of mental disorders is nowadays held with paper or computerized questionnaires that are fulfilled by the patient in a medical cabinet environment, thus, free of daily life environmental stimuli
IMPORTANCE
Patients, practitioners and health care systems are currently suffering from the weaknesses of current conventional diagnosing test. The low ecological validity of conventional diagnosing methods is the main reason for the inaccuracy of these methods, what, apart from the prejudicial medical side‐effects on patient and health system, brings a negative impact on the market, and represent the main problems:
• Either insufficient, excessive or inadequate therapy prescription considering the real conditions and capacities of the patient
• Inefficient mental health care service provision
• Low confidence level of the general public on mental health diagnosing
OBJECTIVES
VRMIND addresses this problem providing to the collective of neurology professionals a system for the diagnosis of mental disorders with high ecological validity: high correlation with activities of daily living (ADL) and with the capacity to degree the intensity of the disorder.
Therefore, the overall objective is the demonstration of the higher performance of virtual reality environment-based diagnosis systems for mental disorders; not only for children but also for adults; and not only by ourselves but also by independent peers that validate our findings
Having in mind the different VRMIND products, the work performed this year can be summarized as follows:
- Nesplora Aula School: First of all an extensive review of the literature has been carried out in order to guide the creation of the new report for the educational field. Once the draft of this report has been generated, we have tested its utility in the Field Studies in Spain. We have already entered the new norms in the server which generates the new report of this tool. This is currently on the market.
- Nesplora Aquarium: The field trials finished at the beginning of the year and some modifications were done in order to have a version ready for the normative studies. Control applications for the studies and for commercialization purposes have been developed. Regarding the clinical studies, we have started 19 clinical trials, and also its utility to assess the attentional profile in different pathologies. This is currently on the market.
- Nesplora Aula: With Nesplora Aula we have carried out studies in 6 countries thought 9 collaborators. The aims of these studies have been to study the performance of Nesplora Aula in different populations in different countries and also in comparison with other neuropsychological tools. This tool was already on the market before the beginning of the VRMIND project.
- Nesplora Ice Cream: We have been testing different controllers in order to find the better one to interact with this tool. Finally we have found the Samsung Gear VR Controller, and we have carried out studies to test its feasibility with different populations. The normative study of this tool has been carried out and also the clinical studies are planned.
- Nesplora Suite: The work carried out with this tool has been based on finishing defining some of the requirements of the task, the variables evaluated and the results that must be collected for the report. In 2018 it was decided that it would be better if this test was based on a spherical photo rather than a 3D scenario. This change has meant changes in the development level and also in the task of the test. With this tool the normative study has already been carried out and the clinical studies have been planned.
In the communication domain we have created: (1) the web page of the project; (2) the social network profile of the project. We have attended to several national and international congresses with different scientific communications and, also, we have prepared for 2019 two communications to be presented in 2 congresses. Finally, we have made a great effort creating materials like leaflets, brochures, infographic, etc…, related with the VRMIND project. These materials have both business and scientific transfer purposes. Finally, series of videos with training purposes have been created.
In the light of this summary, our main results achieved are:
– To have a new tool for the educational sector already finished and already deployed into the market.
– To have a new tool for the evaluation of the attentional proccesses and working memory in adults, already finished and ready already deployed into the market.
– To have two tools Nesplora Ice Cream and Nesplora Suite (both for the evaluation of memory functions in people 16 years old) finished and ready to be deployed into the market.
– We have also created an international network with a total of 35 independent collaborators from the public and private sectors in Europe, LATAM and USA
In the VRMIND project we have been able to create something completely new in the evaluation of the cognitive processes field: four neuropsychological tools in virtual reality which are able to measure different cognitive abilities at the school and on adult population in, i.e. a clinical setting. These tools are scientifically based, thanks to our own studies and also to the studies carried out by our independent collaborators, and their ecological validity is higher than the current tools on the market. These features make our tools unique in the market so we have gone beyond the current state of the art.
We have built up a network of collaborators doing scientific studies with our tools. This fact gives them more reputation and these collaborators can easily act us prescribers of the VRMIND tools in their country of origin as soon as they are deployed in the market.
The progress achieved during this project has important economic and societal impacts:
- Patients: they can receive the right and tailor made treatment for their condition and for the intensity in each moment of the evolution of their condition. currently the patients need some time to be diagnosed consequently being more expensive
- Health practitioners:
o Thanks to VRMIND they can develop the highest reputation within their area of influence to attract the most patients and increase their willingness to pay. To do this they need to have the highest success rate in prescribed treatments and to keep as high as possible the perceived value and user experience of their mental healthcare services
o Also they can reach the optimum overall service quality-cost ratio, avoiding inefficiencies both by over-prescription or under-prescription that generate extra costs in the global recovery process of the patient
- Nesplora Aula School also has a societal impact in the educational professionals, the students and their parents
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