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Helping Amputees though Virtual Environments (HAVEN)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Health Program
Contract: W81XWH-11-C-0489
Agency Tracking Number: O111-H04-3004
Amount: $149,848.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD11-H04
Solicitation Number: 2011.1
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-08-31
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA -
United States
DUNS: 115243701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Niehaus
 (617) 491-3474
Business Contact
 Mark Felix
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (617) 491-3474
Research Institution

Peer support for Warfighters who have suffered traumatic amputation can significantly improve recovery. While peer support is readily available in military treatment facilities (MTFs), veterans with these injuries must continue recovery after leaving the MTF. Unfortunately, veterans in remote areas may not have reasonable access to a MTF or a veterans"affairs medical center (VAMC) where in-person peer support can be obtained, and this lack of peer support may hamper their recovery and reintegration into society. A virtual peer support environment (VPSE) is a significant part of the solution to enhancing the recovery of our veterans. However, to be effective, the VPSE must: (1) be immersive and engaging; (2) enable health care provider and patient interaction; and (3) promote natural, non-verbal communication. To address these needs, we propose to design and demonstrate the feasibility of helping amputees through virtual environments (HAVEN) for the Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space (AVESS), which: (1) supports immersion through artificial intelligence (AI)-controlled virtual characters that promote social immersion, interactive narrative and drama management techniques that promote narrative immersion, and principles from popular video games that promote game immersion; (2) supports non-verbal communication through gesture recognition; and (3) supports health care provider and patient interaction through structured interactions with the virtual characters.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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