A New Digital Therapeutic for ASD
The Sirica Therapeutics System is a device that integrates virtual reality video gaming, advanced robotics, and physical exercise.
Virtual reality is an interface between humans and computers that enables experiences that are beyond the present and immediate environment. The computer generates a multidimensional visual-spatial environment inclusive of sensory feedback. This allows individuals to experience, explore, and interact with an alternate and controlled reality with the same psychological intent and physiological responses as if they were really present in the encounter (Burdea and Coiffet, 2003; Karami et al., 2021).
Robotic devices are powerful and effective tools for the treatment of neurological impairments (Wang and Reid, 2011; Palsbo and Hood-Szivek, 2012). They enable high repetition practice at higher intensity levels with near perfect accuracy and precision. They can also be equipped with artificial intelligence algorithms that optimize the amount and type of challenge provided based on output from the user (Wang and Reid, 2011; Palsbo and Hood-Szivek, 2012). Robotic training has been shown to maintain patient engagement and motivation better than traditional activities (Straudi and Basaglia, 2017).
Regular exercise at a moderate or vigorous intensity has been shown to improve social, cognitive, physical, and behavioral symptoms in children with ASD (Cole, 2021; Healy et al., 2018). Aerobic exercise and motor training interventions help individuals with ASD gain motor control, maintain physical fitness, and stay in good health (Yu and Jee, 2020).