Totalling £347,000 ($560,000 approx.), the grant will be used over the course of 18 months- starting April- to build a prototype which will detect any irregularities in the symmetry of the patients face.
By performing facial execrcises, any signs of asymmetries in the patients face will be identified in real-time via an avatar on the TV screen, before being sent electronically to a clinician, in order to track the patients progress.
Dr Philip Breedon, lead accademic of the project explained how the system works: “It is hoped that improved rehabilitation will be achieved through two methods; firstly by the patient themselves getting real-time feedback on position and magnitude of asymmetries on the face, along with changes over time, thus showing where to concentrate their efforts.
“Secondly, the therapist will get to see data produced whenever the patient exercises. This increased data should help improve diagnosis and planned recovery.
“It is crucial that a non-technical person should be able to use the system without difficulty; so much emphasis will be placed on designing an intuitive and user friendly experience.”
A more hands-on approach, utilizing the Kinect’s motion technology is expected to increase the ability to analyze improvements. The long-term goal, should the project be successful, is to see the prototype mass-produced.