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ACU Researcher Wins Premier's Design Award in Digital Design

Virtual-reality based rehab system wins Premier’s Design Award in Digital Design

Elements, an interactive artwork designed to support movement assessment and rehabilitation for patients recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury, received the ‘Best in Category – Digital Design’ winning prize at the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards.

The research project’s team includes Professor Peter H Wilson and Dr Nick Mumford from Australian Catholic University (ACU), Dr Jonathan Duckworth, Mr Ross Eldridge and Ms Nina Bennett from RMIT University, Professor David Shum and Professor Patrick Thomas from Griffith University, Dr Gavin Williams from Epworth Hospital, and contributions from the Australian Research Council and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Brain injuries often result in impaired hand and reach function, which is profoundly disabling for those affected. The Elements system provides patients with an intuitive workspace that affords basic gestural control.

Elements integrates digital media software, tangible user interfaces (TUIs), augmented feedback, and artistic expression to enhance patient’s motor and cognitive skills. The results of clinical evaluations indicate that patients relearned movement skills, increased their level of engagement, motivation and self-esteem, and importantly day-to-day functioning also improved.

Peter Wilson, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Co-Director of the Centre for Disability and Development Research (CeDDR), from the School of Psychology at ACU said: “The team is very excited by this prestigious award.  It provides real impetus for future development. We’re currently working on a commercialisation plan that, with appropriate support, will hopefully see the system used widely in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, and other practices.”

The Premier’s Design Awards recognise and reward Victorian designers and businesses using exemplar design effectively and sustainably. A presentation ceremony was held on 8 December 2015.

ACU Media: Amy Ripley, T: 02 9739 2015 | M: 0475 965 092 |E:

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