Hasselt University, Expertise Centre for Digital Media

Hasselt, Belgium

The Expertise Centre for Digital Media (EDM) is a research institute of Hasselt University and partner in iMinds. Currently, 50 researchers are active in fundamental to applied research in the competence domains Visual Computing and Huma-Computer Interaction (HCI). EDM has expertise in valorization of its know-how, by means of creating spin-off companies, license agreements with companies and translating results of fundamental or basic research into applied research with companies.

In this project, the HCI group participates based on their expertise in HCI in general and applied in the domain of “health and rehabilitation”. The HCI research unit conducts research in “emerging interactive systems”, user-centered software engineering and multimodal interaction. The results of this research are applied in technology-supported rehabilitation and robotic systems (serious games, 3D interaction and haptic feedback), multidisciplinary and end-user design and development), e-health. The research on neurological rehabilitation has broadened its scope over the last years. The initial focus was on the I-TRAVLE system, resulting in a haptic robot-based system with virtual training environments and serious games. Gradually, dynamic adaptivity to the patient’s capabilities was integrated. An extensive therapist UI supports both training and data collection during effectiveness studies. Also a tracker-based home-based setup with an extended set of games (I-TRAVLE@home) was realised. A basic telerehab /telemonitoring approach was integrated. Both types of setups were validated in an RCT / intervention study. Furthermore, tablet-based and pervasive rehabilitation setups (e.g. using Sifteo cubes as tangible interaction devices) were created and tested on small scale. Currently, tablet-based support for training and assessment of dual tasking (motor and cognitive skills) is investigated. Also, we are developing the Handly system, with physical tangible boxes to train particular hand grips in a virtual game. ReHappy is an anthropomorphic character with sensors, and part of an approach to integrate neurological rehabilitation in daily life activities.

The research in the context of cardiac rehabilitation targets design and development of persuasive mobile applications to support the patient in self-management of disease. Furthermore, we are engaged in a European consortium realising a decision support system for exercise prescription by cardiac rehabilitation experts.