Outstanding research collaboration between the UTS Games Studio and the University Carlos III de Madrid

The UTS Game Studio had the pleasure to host Edwin Daniel Oña Simbaña, a Ph.D. Candidate from the RoboticsLab in the Systems Engineering and Automation Department of the University Carlos III of Madrid

During his stay, Mr. Oña worked closely with Games Studio Co-Directors Dr. Jaime Garcia and Dr. William Raffe on a project titled: “Development of Serious Games for rehabilitation and assessment of upper limbs motor function”

The main goal of the research project was to explore the use of Serious Games for the automation of clinical procedures for motor function assessment.

The Box-and-Blocks Test (BBT) was chosen for automation, considering that BBT is one of the most commonly used outcome measures in clinical trials.

The effectiveness of Serious Games for automation of the BBT was be studied and tested. Additionally, the feasibility of using the virtual environment as a friendly method for the test administration was also examined.  

This project led to the submission of two manuscripts to two well-established conferences in the fields of Serious Games for Health and Health-Computer informatics: The Serious Games for Health Conference (SEGAH2019) and HIC2019, Australia’s largest e-health, digital health, and health informatics conference.

The first paper focuses on the development of a VR-based fully automated version of the BBT test for the assessment of upper-limb functioning (Paper title: “Assessment of manual dexterity in VR: Towards a fully-automated version of the Box and Blocks Test”).  

The second manuscript focuses on the concurrent validity of such system by comparing the VR-based version of the BBT test with its original form. (Paper title: “Evaluating A VR-based Box and Blocks Test for Automatic Assessment of Manual Dexterity: A Preliminary Study in Parkinson’s Disease”).

This visit is an initial step towards a collaborative endeavour between the UTS Games Studio and the University Carlos III de Madrid in exploring the use of video game technology as a means to improve the physical and mental health.

From left to right: Dr. Jaime Garcia (Co-director Games Studio), Edwin Daniel Oña (Visiting Scholar from UC3M), Dr. William Raffe (Co-Director Games Studio), Ph.D. Candidates Carlos Tirado Cortes and Ezwan Shah