9 research outputs found

    Emoty: an Emotionally Sensitive Conversational Agent for People with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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    Our research aims at exploiting the advances in conversational technology to support people with Neurodevelopmental Disorder (NDD). NDD is a group of conditions that are characterized by severe deficits in the cognitive, emotional and motor areas and produce severe impairments in communication and social functioning. This paper presents the design, technology and exploratory evaluation of Emoty, a spoken Conversational Agent (CA) created specifically for individuals with NDD. The goal of Emoty is to help these persons enhancing communication abilities related to emotional recognition and expression, which are fundamental in any form of human relationship. The system exploits emotion detection capabilities based on the semantics of the speech by calling the IBM Watson Tone Analyzer API and from the harmonic features of the audio thanks to an ‚Äúall-of-us‚ÄĚ Deep Learning model. The design and evaluation of Emoty are based on the close collaboration among computer engineers and specialists in NDD (psychologists, neurological doctors, educators)

    Wildcard: A wearable virtual reality storytelling tool for children with intellectual developmental disability

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    Our research aims at supporting existing therapies for children with intellectual and developmental disorders (IDD). The personal and social autonomy is the desired end state to be achieved to enable a smooth integration in the real world. We developed and tested a framework for storytelling and learning activities that exploits an immersive virtual reality viewer to interact with target users. We co-designed our system with experts from the medical sector, identifying features that allow patients to stay focused on exercises to perform. Our approach triggers a learning process for a seamless assimilation of common behavioral skills useful in every day's life. This paper highlights the technologic challenges in healthcare and discusses cutting-edge interaction paradigms

    Creating Social stories as wearable hyper-immersive virtual reality experiences for children with neurodevelopmental disorders

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    "Social stories" are short narratives that describe everyday life situations using paper or video and are widely used in interventions for children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD), particularly in the Autistic Spectrum. Our research explores how to transform "traditional" social stories into wearable interactive immersive digital experiences. The paper describes a tool designed with therapists that enables everyone to autonomously develop and customize these "high tech" social stories, and, during a session of use, to control user's interaction and to automatically gather relevant behavioural information

    XOOM: An end-user development tool for web-based wearable immersive virtual tours

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    XOOM is a novel interactive tool that allows non ICT-specialists to create web-based applications of Wearable Immersive Virtual Reality (WIVR) technology that use 360√ā¬į realistic videos as interactive virtual tours. These applications are interesting for various domains that range from gaming, entertainment, cultural heritage, and tourism to education, professional training, therapy and rehabilitation. 360√ā¬į interactive videos are displayed on smartphones placed on head-mounted VR viewers. Users explore the virtual environment and interact with active elements through head direction and movements. The virtual scenarios can be seen also on external displays (e.g., TV monitors or projections) to enable other users to participate in the experience, and to control the VR space if needed, e.g., for education, training or therapy purposes. XOOM provides the functionality to create applications of this kind, import 360√ā¬į videos, concatenate them, and superimpose active elements on the virtual scenes, so that the resulting environment is more interactive and is customized to the requirement of a specific domain and user target. XOOM also supports automatic data gathering and visualizations (e.g., through heat-maps) of the users√Ę\u80\u99 experience, which can be inspected for analytics purposes, as well as for user evaluation (e.g., in education, training, or therapy contexts). The paper describes the design and implementation of XOOM, and reports a case study in the therapeutic context

    Migration and the Built Environment - Abstract, Projects, Conference Proceedings, Atti del Simposio Internazionale Caumme III/Paumme I, Napoli, novembre 24-25, 2016

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    The phenomenon of migration is as ancient as human socialization. However, in the last decades both phenomena have become a top political and discursive concern in many countries. The contemporary, more international dimension of migration and the spread of media perfectly epitomizes the ‚Äúliquid‚ÄĚ character of the present: something that changes in a constant fashion, but remains hard to contextualize. The global nature of migrations, linked to their increasing articulation, has been the object of widespread scholarly interest, especially in the humanities, to the point that the social scientists S. Castles e M.J. Miller define the last decades as ‚Äúthe migration era‚ÄĚ, even if other, earlier historical periods witnessed even more numerous flows. It is unquestionable that, starting from World War I, migration has assumed a global character that has intensified in the last decade. This global dimension is linked to the host of different places involved in the two directions of the flow, to the formation of multiple migratory systems, to the amplification of the transnational character and, the transformation of the landscape of the transit places. Further, focusing on the long period, the transformations appear to affect even the destination places, as populations bring along their customs, behaviors, cultures and techniques. Such mutations involve numerous aspects beyond the anthropological, physical and spatial ones. They also affect the built environment and the processes of construction and representation of both cities and their architecture. CAUMME III - 2016 addresses a number of relevant concerns regarding the relationship between architecture, urbanism and migrations. What are the relevant impacts of migration on the host communities? What anthropological effects are linked to these phenomena? Are architectural aesthetics, the material use and the building techniques going to mutate under the pressure of migration? How is the urban landscape being transformed by flows of migration? What is happening to the housing environments? What kind of relationships are forming between transformation processes of the built environment and the social system in the presence of migrant communities

    Insight from an Italian Delphi Consensus on EVAR feasibility outside the instruction for use: the SAFE EVAR Study

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    Background: The SAfety and FEasibility of standard EVAR outside the instruction for use (SAFE-EVAR) Study was designed to define the attitude of Italian vascular surgeons towards the use of standard endovascular repair (EVAR) for infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) outside the instruction for use (IFU) through a Delphi consensus endorsed by the Italian Society of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (SocietaŐÄ Italiana di Chirurgia Vascolare ed Endovascolare - SICVE). Methods: A questionnaire consisting of 26 statements was developed, validated by an 18-member Advisory Board, and then sent to 600 Italian vascular surgeons. The Delphi process was structured in three subsequent rounds which took place between April and June 2023. In the first two rounds, respondents could indicate one of the following five degrees of agreement: 1) strongly agree; 2) partially agree; 3) neither agree nor disagree; 4) partially disagree; 5) strongly disagree; while in the third round only three different choices were proposed: 1) agree; 2) neither agree nor disagree; 3) disagree. We considered the consensus reached when ‚Č•70% of respondents agreed on one of the options. After the conclusion of each round, a report describing the percentage distribution of the answers was sent to all the participants. Results: Two-hundred-forty-four (40.6%) Italian Vascular Surgeons agreed to participate the first round of the Delphi Consensus; the second and the third rounds of the Delphi collected 230 responders (94.3% of the first-round responders). Four statements (15.4%) reached a consensus in the first rounds. Among the 22 remaining statements, one more consensus (3.8%) was achieved in the second round. Finally, seven more statements (26.9%) reached a consensus in the simplified last round. Globally, a consensus was reached for almost half of the proposed statements (46.1%). Conclusions: The relatively low consensus rate obtained in this Delphi seems to confirm the discrepancy between Guideline recommendations and daily clinical practice. The data collected could represent the source for a possible guidelines' revision and the proposal of specific Good Practice Points in all those aspects with only little evidence available

    Second asymptomatic carotid surgery trial (ACST-2) : a randomised comparison of carotid artery stenting versus carotid endarterectomy

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    Background: Among asymptomatic patients with severe carotid artery stenosis but no recent stroke or transient cerebral ischaemia, either carotid artery stenting (CAS) or carotid endarterectomy (CEA) can restore patency and reduce long-term stroke risks. However, from recent national registry data, each option causes about 1% procedural risk of disabling stroke or death. Comparison of their long-term protective effects requires large-scale randomised evidence. Methods: ACST-2 is an international multicentre randomised trial of CAS versus CEA among asymptomatic patients with severe stenosis thought to require intervention, interpreted with all other relevant trials. Patients were eligible if they had severe unilateral or bilateral carotid artery stenosis and both doctor and patient agreed that a carotid procedure should be undertaken, but they were substantially uncertain which one to choose. Patients were randomly allocated to CAS or CEA and followed up at 1 month and then annually, for a mean 5 years. Procedural events were those within 30 days of the intervention. Intention-to-treat analyses are provided. Analyses including procedural hazards use tabular methods. Analyses and meta-analyses of non-procedural strokes use Kaplan-Meier and log-rank methods. The trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN21144362. Findings: Between Jan 15, 2008, and Dec 31, 2020, 3625 patients in 130 centres were randomly allocated, 1811 to CAS and 1814 to CEA, with good compliance, good medical therapy and a mean 5 years of follow-up. Overall, 1% had disabling stroke or death procedurally (15 allocated to CAS and 18 to CEA) and 2% had non-disabling procedural stroke (48 allocated to CAS and 29 to CEA). Kaplan-Meier estimates of 5-year non-procedural stroke were 2·5% in each group for fatal or disabling stroke, and 5·3% with CAS versus 4·5% with CEA for any stroke (rate ratio [RR] 1·16, 95% CI 0·86-1·57; p=0·33). Combining RRs for any non-procedural stroke in all CAS versus CEA trials, the RR was similar in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients (overall RR 1·11, 95% CI 0·91-1·32; p=0·21). Interpretation: Serious complications are similarly uncommon after competent CAS and CEA, and the long-term effects of these two carotid artery procedures on fatal or disabling stroke are comparable