Platform PLan-V addresses the needs of adults with speech and language difficulties, namely, difficulties that arise in adulthood as a result of neurological communication disorders.
These difficulties cover a wide spectrum and can be grouped into two broad categories:
- Disorders affecting the speech mechanism and its components (dysarthrias of various types and degrees of severity)
- Disorders affecting language comprehension and production (aphasias of various types and degrees of severity)
There are various causes of neurological communication disorders. They include conditions such as cerebral vascular accidents (CVAs), head and brain injuries, and brain tumors. A number of neurodegenerative conditions, encountered mainly in the elderly population, (e.g. dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Primary Progressive Aphasia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease), are also associated with speech and language difficulties.
Any of the aforementioned conditions has adverse consequences on the quality of life of the individual that is affected. It restricts communication ability even when it comes to simple ordinary activities and it impacts greatly on everyday life, both psychologically and socially. In order for support to be effective, the intervention program needs to be individualized and systematic. The type and frequency of the intervention program will influence significantly the final outcome.
Within this framework, project PLan-V aims at developing a comprehensive, state-of-the-art Speech and Language Therapy system, which will allow patients to practice from any location and for as long as they wish, without the physical presence of a Speech and Language Therapist, but with the assistance of a virtual Speech and Language Therapist (Avatar) who will guide them through the virtual sessions.
At the same time, PLan-V will be an invaluable tool for Speech and Language Therapists, who oversee the intervention process remotely. It will allow them to administer individualized Speech and Language Therapy programs to their patients, which will act complementarily to in-person sessions. Further, it will support them with regular assessment and monitoring of progress in the intervention process.