BACKGROUND

The Interactive Digital Media Programme Office (IDMPO) of the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore and SingHealth (Singapore Health Services) jointly conducted a grant call in 2009 to support IDM R&D of original and innovative applications, for interactive digital media solutions in the healthcare industry.

The grant call aimed to address problems the clinicians were facing when performing traditional cognitive evaluation on dementia patients as follows:

To address these limitations, a computerised 3 dimension (3D) interactive and virtual cognitive system was proposed. This system was later developed by us in collaboration with National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), Singapore as the clinical Principal Investigator. The R&D innovation works of this system would be spread across the following areas:

  1. A 3-Dimension Virtual Environment
    A 3-dimension virtual environment will be created in which the patients will perform the various activities. It will be represented by a house with some rooms, located in a city with human characters, streets, vehicles and shops.

  2. An Evaluation Platform
    The Evaluation Platform on the other hand will work in the same way as the Training Platform with the difference in the configuration of activities and the rules applied to them. The patient will need to perform the activities in a specific order. The final score is computed based on the number of successful activities performed.

  3. A Training Platform
    On this platform, the patients will perform a set of activities which are associated to the key cognitive domains. A scoring system will be created to assess and measure the performance of the patients in terms of the key cognitive domains.

Based on the scores, an analysis can be performed to assess the cognition performance of the trainees.

Upon completion of the project, a 3D virtual platform was created that can be used to design and implement activity-based models. Besides, a meta-model was created to design specific model for future application It will be an activity-based meta-model that maps daily activities with different cognitive domains.

This project has achieved a few key R&D breakthroughs and these are:

We have overcome some challenges in the application and integration of the models within a 3D environment and the development of a 3D platform that would combine the user of these models into a game-like experience for the trainees.

The developed system is now called Cogni3D which is represented in 3 dimensions for cognitive evaluation and training.