Description of ORACIA

Coordinator: Instituto Pedro Nunes

Starting date: May 2021

Duration: 24 months

Total budget: € 1,331,962.50

Public contribution: € 932,306.25

Context/background of project

Aphasia is an acquired language disorder affecting an individual’s comprehension and expression across various of modes of communication (listening, reading, speaking, writing, gesture, drawing, and calculation). Aphasia is common in older adult patients in the context of vascular or neurodegenerative disorders. One of the most significant etiologies of Aphasia is a stroke (prevalent in older individuals), for which, about 30 - 40% of patients end up developing aphasia. Around 60% of stroke survivors show consistent communication impairment one-year post-stroke4,5. In 2017, there were 1.12 million incident strokes in the European Union and 9.53 million stroke survivors representing an incidence and prevalence of 392k and 3.3 million aphasic patients6, respectively. Adults with aphasia and their relatives report numerous negative impacts of aphasia: changes in communication situations, changes in interpersonal relationships, difficulty controlling emotions, physical dependency, loss of autonomy, restricted activities, loneliness, stigmatization, and negative feelings of irritation, stress, and anxiety. Given the complexity of the multiple needs displayed by patients and caregivers along the distinct phases of the rehabilitation process, the interest in multimodal and integrated care and interventions has increased.

Objectives of the project

ORACIA will develop a solution to support home and technology-based rehabilitation for people with Aphasia. The main objective and technical advance will be the development of a new platform, which will be designed and validated by a multidisciplinary team together with rehabilitation professionals. The ORACIA smart solution for ageing well will contribute to the digital transformation of health and care in speech and language therapy. Through an ICT-based platform, ORACIA will promote the extension of the rehabilitation intervention performed in-clinic to the community setting (e.g. patient home, home care center). ORACIA addresses rehabilitation in a holistic perspective (speech and language therapy, physical therapy and cognitive training) with an intensive, high-repetition, task-oriented and task-specific therapy approach. ORACIA will generate economic and clinical impacts by reducing the costs associated with healthcare for aphasic patients and improving functional outcomes

The potential longer term benefits

ORACIA aims to revolutionize the rehabilitation for aphasia, through an interactive and holistic approach addressing functional, psychological and physical aspects of aphasia impacting the patients’ quality of life. ORACIA fills an important role towards increasing the availability of rehabilitation, enabling patients to enhance or prolong their therapy and potentially improving outcomes.

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