Immersive Virtual Reality in Aphasia Telerehabilitation

Research team:
Professor Emeritus Matti Lehtihalmes (University of Oulu)
MA, doctoral student Emilia Malinen (University of Oulu)
PhD, docent Soile Loukusa (University of Oulu)
MD, PhD, Medical Director, Verve Mika Pekkonen
Professor Esa Läärä (University of Oulu)
M. Sc. (Tech.) Jussi Auvinen (Peili Vision Oy)
D.Sc. (Tech.) Topi Siro (Peili Vision Oy)

Main collaborators:
Peili Vision Oy
Verve Oulu
City of Oulu

Public abstract:

In Finland, the lack of adequate resources associated with an aphasia rehabilitation is a challenge, and there is a need to solve this issue. The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of an immersive virtual reality (VR) in a telerehabilitation and for the people with aphasia (PWA). In this study, the PWA will be practicing at their home with support by their relatives, and participants will also receive regular remote guidance by a speech and language therapist during the intervention. This model of rehabilitation has been already studied at the University of Oulu in the form of preliminary pilot study and with encouraging results by the Research Unit of Logopedics and the Peili Vision Oy. The present investigator-initiated research project is also conducted at the Research Unit of Logopedics in collaboration with Peili Vision Oy and has been started on 2020. The purpose of the project is to study the effects, the feasibility and the participants’ experiences of this novel kind of language intervention. The effects of the intervention will be studied with various outcome measures in terms of language performance, functional communication and quality of life.