MOTEK to install virtual reality rehabilitation platform at the University of Groningen

Manchester 29 November 2000MOTEK, the leading developer and provider of high-quality motion capture technology, will implement its first Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment System, known as CAREN, at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. CAREN forms a turnkey, customisable visualisation application designed for the medical industry. Installation of the system will take place in early 2001.

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Based on MOTEK's patented D-Flow Technology, CAREN enables medical experts to view and analyse balance and co-ordination disorders in an interactive, controlled environment, enhancing diagnostic and therapeutic activities. Developed by MOTEK under a programme funded by the European Union, CAREN "immerses" one or more patients in a completely reactive virtual and physical environment to determine, register, standardise, and evaluate human functional performance in a wide range of situations.

At the University of Groningen, the CAREN system will be integrated with other motion control and testing equipment, such as an EMG, and force plates, into a movement research laboratory. Several departments, including Rehabilitation, Movement Science, Neurology, and Medical Physiology will run the laboratory and will interact with Beatrixoord, a rehabilitation centre. It will be staffed by a full-time technician and up to three Ph.D. students distributed over different subject areas, by short-term staff involvement from each of the managing departments, and by Dr. Egbert Otten who is Associate Professor in Motor Control, and will form the link between applications and technology.

"The combination of the hardware elements, integrated through the means of the dedicated software, offers CAREN's unique properties", stated Dr. Otten. "Having worked with a lot of innovative techniques over the past 20 years, I believe that CAREN may provide the necessary and very visible link between fundamental science and clinical science", he added.

CAREN allows a therapist to place the patient into a virtual environment to help diagnose medical disorders like Parkinson's Disease as well as other neurological abnormalities. CAREN is the only quantifiable and human-error free tool for early diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and other degenerative conditions. In addition, CAREN enables therapists to introduce dynamic corrections to a patient's virtual and physical realities, creating an interactive relationship that can reduce the rehabilitation times for neuro-muscular and skeletal injuries by about 50 percent. The shorter rehabilitation times cut treatment costs.

MOTEK's patented D-Flow technology can provide a faster than real time feedback loop which evaluates and adjusts any motion against a norm. The combination of the feedback loop with a motion platform provides the ability to compensate or adjust the simulated experience by relocating the position of the platform.

MOTEK Motion Technology Inc. specialises in digital motion technology. The company designs and markets real time motion capture data solutions and products for both the entertainment and commercial technology industries. Internationally recognised for its pioneering work in the field, MOTEK is known worldwide as a provider of motion capture solutions for feature films, television commercials, computer graphics, and simulation environments. MOTEK has long been known for supplying the cleanest data in the industry. MOTEK is the only firm to offer fully equipped, advanced motion-capture studios in Europe and the United States.

MOTEK's United States motion capture studio is located at its corporate headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire, and its European studio is located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Both facilities include a CAREN System. The Amsterdam facility also houses the company's R&D, engineering, and manufacturing operations. Both studios are equipped with today's most advanced optical and magnetic motion-capture systems as well as the latest high-end rendering software for generating clean, cinema quality data for a full range of motion capture projects.

More information on CAREN is available in the following VMW articles:


Leslie Versweyveld

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