Researchers from the University of Zaragoza and the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have developed an augmented reality app to evaluate spatial memory. Among its applications, it could be used in Alzheimer's patients, as a tool for the analysis and training of skills related to memory. As long as, the authors warn as reported by Efe, the patient is not in an advanced stage of the disease.
It could also be of great help in the infant stage, for the early identification of alterations related to that spatial memory. The work of researchers from the University of Zaragoza and the UPV has been published in the IEEE Access journal.
In the case of using the app for training, it could help physicians evaluate spatial memory through the search for common elements in the daily life of these patients, such as shoes or a hat.
Magdalena Méndez López and Camino Fidalgo, researchers from the Department of Psychology and Sociology of the University of Zaragoza, emphasize that the app will improve the current techniques used for memory training "because it allows for memory exercises on where things are left in the the patient's home, that is, in the real context where the same difficulties appear, and with minor modifications, the complexity of the exercise can be increased to make it more motivating. "
The device on which the application is installed recognizes the environment in which it is being used and the place where the objects were left. "Short-term spatial memory is the ability that people have to retain and remember the location of elements during relatively short periods of time and is the one that influences when remembering where we left the keys, a screwdriver or a pair of glasses, for example, "the researcher at the ai2 Institute of the Valencian Polytechnic, María Carmen Juan, has detailed Efe.
This application can be taken to the patient's home and personalized with the desired objects, "which represents an enormous advantage, since it adapts to the rhythm of life of each user," said the researcher from the ai2 Institute of the UPV, Fran Muñoz
Currently, the first phase has already concluded, in which the application has been evaluated in 55 people. During this year, two other pilot studies will be carried out with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients, respectively.
"The following phases will value going beyond the possibilities of the applications developed so far and involve other senses, such as hearing and touch, to assess spatial memory," concluded Carmen Juan. The development of this app is part of the AR3Senses project, financed by the Ministry of Economy and Business and co-financed with FEDER funds.