Vall d'Hebron hosts a meeting of Sharespace, a European virtual reality Project

The creation of hybrid digital-human interaction spaces between avatars and people offers new opportunities for personalized medicine


Vall d'Hebron has hosted a monitoring meeting of the Sharespace project. This European initiative has brought together five research centers, three universities, five companies, and two university hospitals from eight different countries to advance virtual reality. The objective of the participants is the creation of virtual spaces of hybrid interaction, i.e. places where virtual avatars created with artificial intelligence and humans can interact in embodied collaborative tasks. On behalf of the Vall d'Hebron Campus, the project is led by the Pain Unit and the Rehabilitation Service.

Since personalized medicine is one of the sectors that can benefit the most from this new technology. For this reason, one of the pilot trials will be is based on the use of virtual reality for the treatment of chronic low back pain, specifically in the execution of rehabilitation exercises. The test has been designed in two phases. During the first, classes will be given in a virtual space directed by a real professional; patients will attend the classes simultaneously in an ambulatory setting. In the second phase, patients will be able to do the classes from home at any time under the guidance of a virtual avatar. This avatar will choose the exercises according to the parameters set by a medical team that will periodically monitor the evolution of the patients. The development of the clinical aspect of the project will be carried out at the Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Vall d'Hebron Hospital with the participation of researchers from three different groups of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute, demonstrating the transdisciplinary nature of the proposal.

At the March meeting, more than 30 professionals representing all the members involved in the project met to work on the development of the unified Sharespace vision, share their technological progress, and define the next actions to be implemented.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s research and innovation program Horizon Europe under grant agreement No 10192889. The initiative is formed by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the University of Montpellier, INRIA - National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology, the Scarl Center of New Technologies for Productive Activities, the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Alcatel-Lucent, the University Jaume I, Golaem S.A, LightSpace Technologies SEA, CYENS-center of excellence, Ricoh Europe, the University of Monfort, Ars Electronica, the VHIR and the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital.

 On behalf of the Vall d'Hebron Campus, the project is led by the Pain Unit and the Rehabilitation Service.

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