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  • Alumna creates video game to help dementia patients

    first_imgAlumna Gabriela Gomes created the game to help patients suffering from diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. The game has been tested at 10 retirement communities so far. (Photo courtesy of Gabriela Gomes)When the time came to write her MFA thesis in USC’s Interactive Media program, alumna Gabriela Gomes had no idea where she wanted her career to go. She sat down and wrote a list of things that were important to her. One in particular stood out: family.“I found myself thinking about how we care for our elders and loved ones who might be going through a healing process,” Gomes said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “I thought about my own grandparents, and in particular, one of my grandmothers who had a form of dementia in the latest years of her life. She has lost the ability to connect with the world around her, to her family and friends and so my goal was to design a tool I wish I had access to while she was still alive.”With this in mind, Gomes created “Healing Spaces,” a multi-sensory experience meant to help people suffering from neurodegenerative illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. The goal of the project was to create an immersive experience that would improve caregiving for patients.“I started doing a lot of research on existing literature and interventions, trying to identify challenges I could potentially try to solve with the skills I had developed during my MFA,” Gomes wrote. “This is when I came across the research on multi-sensory environments, which was really the starting point for Healing Spaces.”The game requires only four components: a television screen, speakers, hue lights and an iPad. “Ultimately, ‘Healing Spaces’ is really about creating restorative environments where one is given the opportunity to set aside their anxieties, and find the time to reconnect with themselves, their surroundings or their loved ones, wherever it might be,” Gomes said. The app allows patients to transcend their typical medical setting and be transported to one of two different scenes: a beach or forest. According to USC News, Gomes added a sensory box, which includes items like sand, along with an aromatherapy element. Gomes hopes that with these items, players will find it easier to relax and communicate with their caregivers.“Caregiving is very challenging, especially when it comes to finding a balance between self-care and caring for a loved one,” Gomes wrote. “Although we obviously had therapeutic goals in mind for those being cared for, ‘Healing Spaces’ was also designed to help caregivers find a moment of respite in their busy and often stressful lives, and to help foster meaningful moments of connection through play.”But Gomes’ project is not only making waves in the healthcare industry — the game is also changing the role of video games as a whole. Gomes presented her creation at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo.“I think that when people come to these sort of events, they have certain expectations,” Gomes said. “They want to play a polished demo, they want to know how you’re monetizing and distributing your work. And I just had a proof-of-concept, fresh out of university.”While the demo was out of the ordinary for an event like E3, Gomes said she enjoyed presenting an alternative to the typical E3 demography. Prior to joining USC’s MFA in Interactive Media program in 2015, Gomes was interested in exploring the intersection of art, science and technology. For her, the School of Cinematic Arts was the ideal environment to grow and to be inspired for collaborative and multidisciplinary design approaches. Now, “Healing Spaces” has had trial runs in one retirement community. Gomes is motivated to start a second pilot to better understand to what extent the game is successful in helping reduce agitation and increasing engagement among older adults living with advanced dementia. “I have a lot of ideas of where the project could go, but for now, I’m focusing more on refining the experiences we currently have,” Gomes said. “There’s still a lot more to explore when it comes to different interaction and play patterns before we think about expansion.”last_img read more

  • Red-hot Raptors complete L.A. sweep

    first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “We gave up 34 points in the first quarter and I thought that it was going to be a long night,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “The second unit, Terrence and that group came in and changed the game; started getting into bodies and getting into players, being physical. I thought that changed the mentality.”The Raptors beat the Clippers for the fourth straight time, completing a second straight season sweep. It also marked the first time in franchise history the Raptors swept both Los Angeles teams in the same season, having beaten the Lakers in both meetings already.The Raptors’ winning streak is the second-longest in franchise history, one short of the team-record set in the 2001-02 season.“We are playing team basketball, so that’s how it goes,” Ross said. “It’s halfway through the season so we all know how to play. We all know where we like the ball and the tendencies of the other players, so it’s all about playing together.”Chris Paul had 23 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, and DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 13 rebounds. JJ Redick added 17 points. TORONTO >> The Toronto Raptors used a stellar game from its reserves to cruise past the Los Angeles Clippers for their season-high eighth straight win.All-Star guard Kyle Lowry scored 21 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 20 and DeMar DeRozan added 18 as the Raptors beat the Clippers 112-94 on Sunday.Toronto’s backups outscored their Clippers counterparts 51-29 while shooting 57.6 percent and finishing with their highest total of the season. Terrence Ross led the reserves with 18 points on 5-for-7 shooting on 3-pointers for his fourth straight game with at least 10 points off the bench. Cory Joseph had 12 points, and Patrick Patterson and Bismack Biyombo added 10 each.center_img Los Angeles — which fell to 11-3 while Blake Griffin recovers from a strained left quad — led by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, but Toronto’s second unit sparked a change in the second quarter as they began the period on a 17-3 run to turn the game around and help the Raptors take a 62-49 lead at halftime.Clippers coach Doc Rivers didn’t mince his words when it came to discussing the performance of his bench players.“They were just awful,” he said. “I think that’s it. It’s rare when you lose by 18 points and your starters all have a plus. That doesn’t happen very often. Our bench has been good but tonight they were awful.”The Clippers got within four points at one point in the third, but the Raptors then pulled away again. With Toronto leading 78-71 with 1:48 left in the quarter, Joseph made a layup and DeRozan followed with a 3 in the final minute to push the lead to 12 heading into the fourth.“It’s not about the first unit, the second unit, it’s our team,” Paul said. “There’s been nights where the starters have come out and haven’t played well and the second unit has brought us back so I told us after the game that we’ve just got to find a way to put it all together.”NotesThe newest Clipper, Jeff Ayres played five minutes and had two points on free throws. Ayres signed a 10-day contract on Saturday. He had previously been playing for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, averaging 16.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists while appearing in 23 games. The power forward has previously played in 220 NBA games with Portland, Indiana and San Antonio, winning a championship with the Spurs in 2013-14. … Before Sunday’s game, Paul had averaged 10.6 assists per game against the Raptors, the most of any player against Toronto in the franchise’s history.last_img read more

  • FUTURE OF ePUBLIC SERVICES TO BE DISCUSSED AT DONEGAL WORKSHOP

    first_imgAnybody interested in how the digital revolution continues to impact and evolve on the daily lives of people and businesses in Donegal and Ireland can get a snapshot of where it is going next week.The snapshot will be part of an overall workshop entitled ‘The Future of ePublic Services in the Atlantic Area’ which takes place at the CoLab at the LYIT in Letterkenny on Thursday, January 23rd.The workshop will examine the new generation of disruptive Digital Technologies which stand ready to create a second revolution in the way that public services are delivered to citizens and business. The first revolution was based on the advent of broadband and the Internet, and for the first time, enabled consumers of public services to self-service their service needs. It lowered the cost of providing the service, as well as improving productivity and service levels.The new disruptive technologies include mobile and cloud computing, social media, data analytics, ubiquitous computing, etc. and enable the consumption “at-any-time-any-place” of more responsive and evidence-based public services.This workshop will, by bringing input from a number of sources , discuss the implications of these technologies for public service delivery in the Atlantic Area.A key output of the workshop will ideas for new projects that meet the needs of Europe’s Atlantic areas. These inputs include the results of an-online blog, social media campaign and presentations from practitioners and researchers. The event will also be streamed live.The workshop is part of a study to identify the Digital Agenda needs of Europe’s Atlantic Regions. It is being carried out by the ERNACT network, in cooperation with the Atlantic Forum of the Commision of the Peripheral & Maritime Regions (CPMR).For more information on the workshop and to register click herehttps://teamworker.ernact.eu/INV/EventInformation.aspx?eid=724FUTURE OF ePUBLIC SERVICES TO BE DISCUSSED AT DONEGAL WORKSHOP was last modified: January 20th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CoLabdonegalePublic ServicesERNACTletterkennylast_img read more