CASSETTE DEVELOPING VR SOLUTION FOR HAND THERAPY

Updated: May 27

NIHR GRANT AWARD


Cassette have been awarded an NIHR (https://www.nihr.ac.uk/) Invention for Innovation (i4i) Connect grant in collaboration with Dorset County Hospital Trust and Orthopaedic consultant Tim Crook, to develop post-operative hand therapy treatments via virtual reality.


The grant will fund the development of a prototype Virtual Reality application in conjunction with patient and public involvement to determine the viability of this technology for hand therapy treatments.

The concept, conceived by Tim Crook has the potential to address the shortage of therapists nationally whilst improving compliance with rehabilitation programmes, reducing the overall time spent in therapy and lowering costs.


The project will recreate a range of movement and 9-hole peg test in Virtual Reality. Both are traditional tests for tracking patient progress through a rehabilitation programme and allow opportunity for direct comparison between the virtual and real world version. Upon validation the aim is to develop gamified treatment programmes, introducing artificial intelligence to monitor patient progress and adapt accordingly.





TIM CROOK, ORTHAPAEDIC CONSULTANT:

“I HAVE SEEN FIRST HAND THE PRESSURES THAT THERAPISTS ARE FACING WITH INCREASED VOLUME OF WORK AND THE IMPACT THAT NON COMPLIANCE WITH TREATMENT CAN HAVE ON A PATIENT’S WELLBEING. THIS SOLUTION HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES, INCREASING A THERAPISTS CAPACITY, REDUCING HOSPITAL VISITS FOR PATIENTS AND IMPROVING ACCESS TO QUALITY CARE.”




BEN TAYLOR, HEAD OF CASSETTE:

WE KNOW THAT VIRTUAL REALITY IS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR IMPROVING THERAPY COMPLIANCE, HOWEVER THE HARDWARE AVAILABLE IN THE PAST HAS NOT OFFERED COMMERCIALLY VIABLE SOLUTIONS. WITH THE IMPROVEMENT IN HARDWARE OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS ALONGSIDE MORE AFFORDABLE PRICING AND THE ADDITION OF HAND TRACKING TECHNOLOGY THIS HAS NOW CHANGED. THIS IS A REALLY EXCITING OPPORTUNITY TO NOW APPLY THESE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDEFINE HAND THERAPY TREATMENT PATHWAYS.”









ABOUT THE NIHR

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research.

The NIHR:

  • Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care

  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research

  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future

  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services

  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy

The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.




ABOUT THE CONSORTIUM

Cassette are the lead applicant for the grant application and supported by a wider consortium including the Dorset County Trust and:

1. Tim Crook – Orthopaedic Consultant, Dorset County Hospital

2. Derek Kelly (DK), Innovation Lead, University Hospitals Dorset

3. Richard Lawson (RL), Patient Research Ambassador, Dorset County Hospital

4. Dr Zoë Sheppard (ZS), Head of Research, Dorset County Hospital

5. Stefanie Andrew – Orthopaedic Registrar

6. Maree Dethick-Jones, Senior Lead Hand Therapist, Dorset County Hospital