Treat Parkinson’s with Irish dances. Then the teacher is a robot

Treat Parkinson's with Irish dances.  Then the teacher is a robot
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“Si-Robotics” is a new rehabilitation protocol for people with Parkinson’s disease. The project, co-ordinated by Exprevia (Information and Communication Technology Group), is being tested at the Angona IRCA.

“Irish Dance”. To improve and improve. Dance. He leads and maintains typical Irish dances, a robot with subdued eyes, called the “Exploration” (international group specializing in information and communication technology) project called “C-Robotics”. Experimental phase at the National Institute of Hospitalization and Care for the Adelaide of Angona (Irccs Inrca). It is Europe’s first pilot system designed for Parkinson’s patients with advanced neurodegenerative disease. What does Irish dance have to do with the world of Parkinson’s? “There are currently several health procedures for this disease that do not require pharmacological: dance, or music therapy, one of which is confirmed by over fifty studies: in some cases it is highly recommended,” explains Giuseppe Pellikoni, director of the complex. Operational Unit of Neurology at Angona IRC. Not only that. An approach aimed at the rhythmic circuits of the brain through music therapy can then stimulate the patient’s auditory pathways.

The robot that “does not love” hospitals

All of this is happening thanks to a robot, artificial intelligence platform, sensors for detecting vital and scientific parameters, and expertise from the Diocesan and Co-ordinator Giovanni Melon, whose delivery manager, Innovation Lab, and C-Robotics project ‘ After all, it is a technology that allows the demyelization of the treatment, bringing the treatment into playful context. In practice, the patient does not need to be hospitalized. An insignificant factor from dance, the movements of patients undergoing treatment, can occur in any situation: certainly more socialized and less medical than many other approaches.

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From choreography to avatar

So, the real protagonist, Mr. C-Robotics, is able to move the patient-dancer around and show him the right movements and suggest new dances while the Parkinson’s patient exercises in the sound of Irish music. “It’s important that the proposed choreographies are not always the same, because the patient is doing a more stimulating and engaging job for the cognitive component,” observes Giovanni Ricardi, UOC Director of Rehabilitation Medicine within the Angona facility. Here are the tools needed for Irish dance rhythm therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. First, he has a robot, a portal PC that runs the game, and two cameras: the first is intended to create the patient avatar and the second is to detect the biomechanical movements of the patient-dancer. In addition, sensors are used to detect cardiovascular and ventilatory activity in the T-shirts of those undergoing therapy.

“The interaction between the patient and the robot from the first moment is amazing. Yes, because “Si-Robotics” welcomes the dancer and soon scans some of his “student” parameters and speaks and welcomes. We are in the most folkloric part of a very serious treatment session: the selection of songs. “Usually we start, let’s say, quietly, songs for two to three and a half minutes. This is not a walk in the park: after the first phase of therapy, the patient is advised to stop and rest for a while, doing as many cool-down exercises as possible. Then resume the session.

“At each moment of therapy, the patient is never left alone: ​​the physiotherapist, the robot and the patient are always engaged. In addition to the robot communicating with the patient through the microphone, the physiotherapist provides a complete mapping of the room in which he is sitting to identify if there are any obstructions.” The field trial of a project funded by the Ministry of Education, University and Research will continue in the coming weeks and will be published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Public Health.

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January 31, 2022 (Change January 31, 2022 | 19:04)

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