The PAN-Assistant project aims to develop virtual wayfinding and orientation training software using VR/AR technology. The software, PAN-Assistant, is designed for patients with acquired brain injuries. They often experience cognitive impairments, attention deficits, memory problems, executive dysfunction, and spatial disorientation. This makes it challenging to navigate their familiar and unfamiliar environments independently. The PAN-Assistant software will allow patients to practice their routes and landmarks virtually. This can increase their exercise frequency and improving their ability to memorize routes. The goal is to provide independent training for patients that can be carried out on the therapy site or in their own homes. That allows them to move around without supervision.
The current clinical practice for treating orientation disorders is time-consuming and personnel-intensive. Especialls this makes it challenging to provide sufficient treatment for severely affected patients. The PAN-Assistant software will provide secure and customized virtual wayfinding and orientation training. The expectation is to increase the independence and participation of patients. The project team comprises industrial partners, academic institutions, and clinical facilities. To ensure the digital training tool is accepted and therapeutically beneficial, they focus on involving individuals with disabilities in the development process.
Developing digital therapy concepts is a technical and clinical challenge, particularly for patients with several brain injuries and complex physical and/or mental limitations. The project provides a technical solution for individually tailored orientation training, which will complement and expand the current clinical practice. The technology used in this project could also be applied in other future neurorehabilitation areas.
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