The overall objective of this project is the demonstration, clinically and in the market, of the higher performance of virtual reality environment based diagnosis systems for mental disorders; not only for children but also for adults; and not only by ourselves but also by independent collaborators that validate our findings.

VRMIND includes five virtual environments for diagnosis of four mental disorder families:

  • Nesplora Aula, neuropsychological test for the assessment of attention in children from 6 to 16 years old: is a computerized Continuous Performance Test (CPT) designed to evaluate attention processes and support the diagnosis of attention disorders. It is also valuable in other kind of disorders where attentional processes are essential like generalized developmental disorders, difficulties to learn of cognitive deficiencies. Nesplora Aula offers scores about: sustained attention, divided attention (visual and auditory); impulsivity; excessive motor activity (hyperactivity); tendency to distraction, processing speed, focus on the task, attentional difference between visual and audio stimuli and between more and less stimulating tasks, sterile movement, motor activity and fatigue for tasks. Also distinguishes the tendencies to the internal or external distraction.The normative study of Nesplora Aula with general population of Spain was published in Journal of Attention Disorders (Iriarte et al., 2012), and the convergent validity with Conners’ Continuous Performance Test, the market leading test, has been published in Child Neuropsychology journal (Díaz et al., 2014). + More
  • Nesplora Aula School, is the same neuropsychological test of Nesplora Aula, but with a different orientation, instead of supporting the diagnosis of attentional problems, it aims to support the identification of the attentional profile of the student so it can be a help establishing effective pedagogical plans
  • Nesplora Ice Cream, virtual reality test for the evaluation of executive functions: evaluates executive functions in people with acquired brain injury, schizophrenia, substance abuse, adult ADHD and diverse neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia (Alzheimer’s, etc.). + More
  • Nesplora Suite, virtual reality test for the evaluation of memory processes: evaluates memory processes in people with acquired brain injury, schizophrenia, substance abuse, adult ADHD and diverse neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia (Alzheimer’s, etc.). Variables measured by Nesplora Suite include: immediate, short and long term memory, episodic memory, procedural memory, prospective memory and memory problem simulation (malingering).
  • Nesplora Aquarium, virtual reality test for the evaluation of attention and working memory in people over 16 years-old: Both functions are closely related and affected in different pathologies. Nesplora Aquarium aims to provide useful information for the ADHD diagnosis on adolescents and adults, and also relevant information in different condition as affective disorders or psychotic disorders.

Based on clinical studies, the test could be also a useful measure on the evaluation of patients with Acquired Brain Injury or initial phases of dementia. Through different Continuous Performance Test (CPT) paradigms, Nesplora Aquarium collects reliable information about: Sustained attention, visual and auditory attention; Motor activity; Impulse control; Perseveration; It also includes tasks which assess the main working memory components through two dual tasks: Phonological loop and Visuospatial sketchpad; Central executive.+ More

Díaz-Orueta, U., García-López, C., Crespo-Eguílaz, N., Sánchez-Carpintero, R., Climent, G., & Narbona, J., (2014). Nesplora Aula virtual reality test as an attention measure: convergent validity with Conners’ Continuous Performance Test. Child Neuropsychology, 20 (3), 328-342. DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2013.792332

Iriarte, Y., Díaz-Orueta, U., Cueto, E., Irazustabarrena, P., Banterla, F., & Climent, G. (2012). Nesplora Aula, advanced virtual reality tool for the assessment of attention: normative study in Spain. Journal of Attention Disorders, published online 12 December 2012. DOI: 10.1177/1087054712465335.

  • The migration of Nesplora Ice Cream, Nesplora Aula School and Nesplora Suite and the development of Nesplora Aquarium to the SAMSUNG GEAR VR platform.
  • The execution of field tests (prerequisite to perform normative clinical studies).
  • To perform normative clinical studies for Nesplora Ice Cream, Nesplora Suite and Nesplora Aquarium in collaboration with relevant collaborators internationally. The output of these clinical studies will be internationally valid and scientifically sound normative studies for these products.
  • The elaboration of “regional based” independent validation clinical studies in Europe, USA and LATAM in collaboration with relevant practitioners and collaborators in these regions. The output of these studies will be mainly in the form of indexed publications
  • The execution of a dissemination and communication plan as a consequence of the performed clinical studies.

The novelty of the innovation business project relies on being the unique mental disorder diagnostic system combining neuroscience and virtual reality, with clinically validated evidence, available on the market. VRMIND diagnosis system comprises basically the system itself (hardware) and a range of virtual reality environments for diagnosis. These include specific VR environments simulating the most appropriate daily life situation to diagnose a specific disorder, and a diagnosing protocol that asks the patient to execute several operations and answer questions while the system introduces different environmental stimuli, such as interruptions, unexpected sounds and images… The whole set of operations, questions, interruptions and virtual environment, and the responses of the patients, are clinically studied and included in the normative studies developed for the validation, standardization and homologation by practitioners’, scientific and health authorities, exactly like what is done in the case of conventional tests. VRMIND, offers the following advantages and innovations:

  • Ecological validity of the diagnosis protocols, leading to higher accuracy. Clinical evidence has demonstrated that the virtual reality environments simulated on VRMIND are powerful enough to create a solid correlation between diagnosis results and daily life behaviour of patients.
  • Scientifically demonstrated capacity for the correlation of multiple diagnosis variables. Unlike the conventional tests VRMIND is simultaneously registering multiple diagnosis variables at the same time. The introduction of time as a solid and accurately measured variable allows clinically ground correlations between variables. This makes possible, among other issues, to accurately degree the affection level of a disorder in a particular patient, what is not possible or extremely difficult with conventional tests.
  • Capacity to diagnose complete set or families of mental disorders within the same product. Each conventional test is usually designed and validated to measure a single disorder or even a single variable into the diagnosis process of a single disorder. On the contrary, each virtual reality environment of VRMIND has the capacity to diagnose different related disorders within the same product.

These new capacities allow the design, the clinical validation and the generation of the normative for more complex multi‐variable, multi‐stimuli, multi‐disorder diagnosis methods, ecologically valid, extremely accurate and with the capacity to also accurately measure disorder degrees. An increased accuracy in the diagnosis allows earlier detection and more tailor‐made therapies, improving their success rate at the same effort.

The project is structured in 6 Work Packages (WP) including one completely devoted to “Management and coordination” and another one to “Dissemination and communication.” The latter is fed by the deliverables and results obtained during the three work packages dedicated clinical studies (field test, normative and validation) and results from each region (Europe, LATAM, North America).

WP 1 – Management and coordination

Objectives:

  1. To ensure a proper management and coordination of activities across and along the project execution, in order to achieve the overall project objective within time and budgetary limits;
  2. The preparation of technical and financial progress reports to be submitted to the EASME‐EC including an updated and final commercialisation plan in the periodic and final reports.

WP2 – Adaption to SAMSUNG GEAR VR

Objectives:

  1. To perform the adaption and migration of Nesplora Ice Cream, Nesplora Aula School and Nesplora Suite to the platform of SAMSUNG GEAR VR glasses;
  2. To complete the development of Nesplora Aquarium in the platform of SAMSUNG GEAR VR glasses.

WP3 – Field tests

Objectives:

  1. To perform the required field clinical test to Nesplora Suite and Nesplora Aula School in their new versions previous to the development of the normative clinical studies.

WP4 – Normative clinical studies

Objectives:

  1. To perform the normative clinical studies for Nesplora Ice Cream, Nesplora Suite and Nesplora Aquarium in their new versions;
  2. Elaboration and edition of the normative documents for Nesplora Ice Cream, Nesplora Suite and Nesplora Aquarium.

WP5 – Validation clinical studies

Objectives:

  1. To perform the validation clinical studies for each VRMIND test in Europe, Latam and North America;
  2. Elaboration and edition of papers and articles describing the results and findings of each validation study.

WP6 – Communication and dissemination

Objectives:

  1. To disseminate and communicate project findings and results;
  2. Create the framework for the future communications involved in the inbound and outbound marketing strategies after the project termination.

“Statistical analisys of the neuropsicological evaluation tool – VRMind” research project development

Mari Feli González
Nesplora Neurosciences and Support S.L.
Paseo Mikeletegi, 58, Planta 0, Local 8, San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa) – Spain
Email:mgonzalez@nesplora.com
Tel:+34 943308431