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Rehabilitation: at the University of Tres de Febrero they use art and science for better therapies

A patient tests a C3D in the Gemes Sanatorium Intensive Therapy Unit

A group of artists and scientists from the University of Tres de Febrero (Untref) leads a project that seeks
humanize the rehabilitation process With technology. They developed a digital brush in the form of a sphere that associates movements of patients with motor problems to images and sounds in real time.

In the field of
Intercambios Transorgnicos, a transdisciplinary research team from the University of Tres de Febrero, Gala Luca Gonzlez leads a work team that developed the
C3D, a device dedicated to increasing motivation and improve the clinical results in physical rehabilitation treatments. It can be used in children and adults and even older adults, and essentially applies to a wide range of neuropathologies that have motor sequelae; is specifically oriented to
occupational therapy and some applications of
cognitive stimulation.

"I studied music, art therapy and I graduated in transdisciplinary neurorehabilitation. I am a performer, composer, teacher and now a bit of a businesswoman. I am one year after obtaining a degree in Electronic Arts at Untref and it was from my years of clinical practice I decided to leave the office and start inventing and manufacturing solutions to different problems, "explains Gala Gonzlez.

Within the work team of the Untref they develop
interactive interfaces that allow the incorporation of new media and technologies in the field of health and education through inclusive strategies. They are interested in helping to build in these areas an approach that organically links the human, subjective, individual and identity with the functional aspects. "Our goal is to trace new possibilities in the dialogue between art and science," they explain from the institution. "The C3D is the first interface completely developed by my R&D team and according to preliminary research, the motivation increases in both professionals and patients.
The goal is for physical rehabilitation therapists to use it in their work routines replacing the repetitive movements that patients should make with physical stimuli from the use of the controller. "

Gala Lucía González, of the Transorganic Exchange team of the University of Tres de FebreroGala Luca Gonzlez, of the Transorgnicos Exchange team of the University of Tres de Febrero

"While the patient interacts with medical-creative environments, the therapist can meet functional recovery goals and generate data on the evolution of the patient's movement over time. At the same time, the tests we are already doing with our first clients and in the Gemes Sanitarium they allow us to understand what the needs of the professionals are, and from that feedback we adjust the product, "says Gonzlez.

The controller is in the Minimum Viable Product stage (a pioneer stage for large-scale development) and the creators explain the electronics they use is simple: they started with sensors and a proprietary system. The device has a hardware that allows to take data of the movement of the body and the software is composed of visualization environments and creative sounds.

"Both hardware and software are open, free and developed 100% by us. Currently we continue to find very few products and research related to applying arts and new technologies in rehabilitation processes. But those that exist have very good prognosis. That is why We believe that developing and undertaking science and technology in our latitudes is important, relevant, and adding art as a discipline in that mix is ​​to work by putting a pi in the future and betraying the local culture there, "explains the therapist.

How the C3D works

The C3D is a little ball that fits in the palm of the hand, can be taken or attached by means of bolts to any part of the body that requires movement in physical therapies. It works like a digital brush: when the patient moves it, the associated software produces an image and a sound that reflects the movement. This gives real-time feedback and allows the professional to have new ways of approaching the evolution of the patient's movement over time.

While patients use it, they stop concentrating on the repetitions they have to achieve from certain movements, and begin creative explorations, more or less ruled. They can make a drawing, a painting, with different aesthetics or also musical experiences. This promotes a transfer of quality with the professional. Enables conversations about memories, feelings, ideas, feelings and essentially putting the patient's experience at the center of the session.

"In order for the patient to integrate as a human being, with his new reality, so that he can generate new scenarios or ways of linking with the world, he must first be able to imagine doing it. Art allows us to find new possible versions, wherever we raise and we encourage only one. This is a challenge that people with acquired disabilities have to face, "says Gala.

A patient tests a C3D in the Intensive Care Unit of the Güemes SanatoriumA patient tests a C3D in the Gemes Sanatorium Intensive Therapy Unit

One in ten people in Argentina

On acquired disabilities, WHO ensures that 1 in 20 people will acquire a permanent disability throughout their lives. In Argentina, 1 in 10 Argentines has a disability, approximately 50% are motorboats and we have a LCA in the country every 4 minutes.

"What we did was stop thinking that this cannot happen to us or to the people we love and we began to wonder what kind of treatments it would be worth receiving if it happened to us. We simply put all our knowledge and experience in developing products that collaborate – seriously – with improving people's quality of life, "concludes Gala Gonzlez.

The objective of Gala is that both clinicians and private professionals can incorporate it into their treatment routines, while therapists and patients begin to think of it as an interface for monitoring treatment at home. Currently the project is incubated by CADIME and is one of the 3 finalists of the category of Art and Culture of the Samsung Innova contest. In addition, two of its interfaces won the Emprend Conciencia contest in 2018 and 2019.