Face to face

Face to Face

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovation (i4i) interdisciplinary funded research project led by Nottingham Trent University exemplifies our drive for innovation, discovery and commitment to working across boundaries.

In partnership with Nottingham CityCare Partnership, University of Nottingham, Maddison Product Design, patients, clinicians and engineers, researchers have developed a prototype system with the potential to revolutionise the treatment and management of those suffering facial weakness following a stroke. Affecting an estimated 26 000 of the 152 000 stroke victims each year, treatment protocols call for repeated facial muscle exercises. The prototype uses a 3D camera with depth sensor, a small form factor PC and a monitor to recognise and track facial expressions. Employing intelligent technology to register movement across the face and apply the recognised motion to an on-screen representation of the user, the system is both intelligent and interactive. Through recording and monitoring development, and visualising the improvements that the patient is making from repeated exercises, the system provides feedback in response to the exercises and patient progress. Early clinical trials indicate that Face to Face motivates patients to practice their exercises, improves the effectiveness of the exercises, and speeds patient recovery thus benefitting patients as well as those involved in managing their care.

For further information about the project contact Professor Philip Breedon.

This research was funded by the NIHR’s i4i Programme (Grant Reference Number II-LA-0712-20004). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.

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Professor Philip Breedon explains why the Face to Face project is a great example of how Nottingham Trent University values research ideas.