PROJECT WILL SUPPORT REHABILITATION FOR PATIENTS WITH MOTOR PROBLEMS

THE INITIATIVE, SUPPORTED BY THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, IS IN ITS START-UP PHASE AND WILL BENEFIT CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY AND OLDER ADULTS.



August 4, 2017

The Department of Health Sciences began the implementation of a project, with financial support from the Innovation Fund for Regional Competitiveness (FIC-R), which is designed to transfer the knowledge generated in research, by academic Valeska Gatica, in the field of the rehabilitation of persons with motor problems, through the use of virtual reality.
 
 
"Implementation of an Exercises Program with Virtual Reality Via Telerehabilitation for Patients with Cerebral Palsy of the Spastic Hemiplegia Type and for Older Adults", is the name of the project that entails a work with professionals and with people who will be trained as monitors and with parents of children affected by such problems.
 
 
"We will transfer the results of the research carried out during 10 years, which have been published in mainstream scientific journals, and that we now want to bring to people with proven protocols," explained Valeska Gatica, who directs the Human Motor Control Laboratory, from where that knowledge will be spread.
 
 
The researcher stated that it seeks to contribute to solve or minimize the relevant problems that occur in the Region. "In the Maule Region there is a higher percentage of people in disability situations and, in addition, it is the second Region of the country in terms of population of older adults," she said.
 
 
The orientation for parents in their homes to apply rehabilitation protocols to their children will come from the laboratory. We will also be working with the virtual reality room at the Telethon Corporation, with the Special School of Talca that welcomes children with cerebral palsy and the UP Center of Curico.
 
 
To that end, those responsible for the therapies - institutions or people- will be provided with the videogame consoles that will be used in the treatments, guided through the internet from the laboratory.
 
 
In addition, it is envisaged to train autonomous older adults belonging to a club in the northern neighborhood of Talca to act as monitors to their peers, in order to improve balance and prevent falls, among other problems.
 
 
"Children who have cerebral palsy are in the Care Centers, but time is always scarce. The idea is that they get support in their homes for them to achieve a better motor function," explained the head of the project included in the new line of social innovation of the Regional Government (GORE).
 
 
In this regard, Pedro Gonzalez, professional from the Planning Division of that Service, explained that  "the initiative presents elements that are remarkable, for example sustainability, the reduction in costs and the use of technologies for distance work in a very rural region". In addition to a technological breakthrough, he said the experience could be very interesting for the generation of public policies.
 
 
González visited the Human Motor Control Laboratory together with Ana Maria Fuentes and Nicolas Monk, Deputy Executive Director and National Coordinator of Innova Chile Corfo, respectively, who expressed the possibility of supporting the later stages of the commercial scaling up of the system.



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