Project Details

Description

This project is proposing the development and validation of an early-stage development intervention, delivered by an expressive robot, QTrobot, as a novel digital therapeutic for at-home therapy of children with autism. The approach taken to validate the clinical effectiveness of the solution is a long-term, large scale and multinational clinical study which is one of its kind globally. The study compares the progress of children who receive the robot-based therapy at home, in addition to the usual care they are already receiving, in terms of social, cognitive, language and communication development as well as reduction of the autism symptomatology with progress of the children who only receive the usual care. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 1 in every 54 children and is presented with difficulties in social interaction and communication, restricted behaviours and interest and often delayed development in the areas of language, motor and cognitive among others. Having no cure, life skills and autonomy of children with autism can be improved through early, intensive, and one-to-ne interventions, proven to be effective in reducing the needs for long term care and resulting in average cost saving of €1.1 million per person. However, due to the shortage of autism professionals and the high investments needed for delivering such interventions, children often do not receive sufficient interventions, if any.
QT can address the shortage of autism professionals by empowering parents to deliver standard and evidence-based
therapies at home, providing effective, scalable, and affordable therapy for autistic children. In this project we are
evaluating the effectiveness of this novel approach to early interventions for autism, delivered through a robot and in athome setting. Furthermore, we are developing the necessary tools that can facilitate the delivery of the intervention with high level of fidelity, empowering parents of children with autism to create and optimise an individualized therapy plan for their children, to monitor their progress and contribute in their child’s development by playing an active role in the intervention, providing necessary prompts, reinforcements and interactions that are geared toward increasing the child’s ability to genialize the learnt skills from the robot to their natural social environment.
The project is a collaboration between the Luxembourg based company LuxAI, developer and manufacturer of QT and the Luxembourg Institute of Health, bringing together the specialties required for developing and clinically validating the QT as a medical device for at-home therapy of autistic children. The project also brings together autism scientists and clinicians from LU, DE, FR, IT and UK, proposing a novel and unique clinical study in terms of its scope, scale (190 participants in 5 countries) and duration (10-month intervention). By developing and validating a solution for an at-home robot-assisted therapy by parents, the project’s results are expected to provide considerable benefits in improving the health and wellbeing of autistic children and their families as well as to offer considerable reductions of autism costs for the public payers.
AcronymQTrobot
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/07/2231/12/24

Funding

  • FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche: €691,000.00

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