Laurent Heutte Laboratoire PSI - FRE CNRS 2645
UFR des sciences, Université de Rouen
76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan
+33 (0)2 35 14 68 7
+33 (0)2 35 14 68 7

Meddraw - Computer-based Drawing Task Diagnosis and Rehabilitation System

Countries: France, United Kingdom
Border(s): France-United Kingdom,
European programme(s):
Interreg IIIA - France-United Kingdom
- Healthcare
- Cross-border maritime cooperation

The project is an innovative approach to addressing a need identified by health authorities on both sides of the Channel. The work addresses important aspects of the detection, assessment and treatment of medical conditions linked to neurological dysfunctioning. Medical context: An effective examination of the neuropsychological state is essential to ensure that patients can quickly resume their everyday lives and activities. Previous pilot work by both lead partners has demonstrated independently the enhanced diagnostic potential of computer-based assessment of patient responses in standardised drawing tasks when analysing the spatial and temporal characteristics of the drawings produced. In this context, the aim of the project is to establish a centre of excellence in the field and to develop a robust clinical system that is easy to use and that provides objectic diagnoses for a range of clinical conditions.


  • The universities of Kent and Rouen
  • Consultant clinicians

Project goals

This project has four objectives:

  • To pool experience and resources in two leading centres for research in diagnostic analysis of hand-drawn patient output to form a European centre of excellence for such research.
  • To develop a fully engineered, tested and commissioned software program that will be available for clinical use, providing diagnosis, monitoring and rehabilitation support for conditions conventionally assessed using hand-drawn responses. The resulting clinical tool will exploit the leading-edge experience of the two centres and additional research carried out during the project timeframe.
  • To trial and support the computer system in clinical use.
  • To reduce the time taken to administer and evaluate such tests to the benefit of patients, by reducing fatigue and improving representation of task performance and clinical stuff time overheads.

Target group(s)

The target public for this research consists of a variety of people in the cross-border region and the health authorities. Although it was initially concerned with developing a generic system whose operational characteristics could be easily adapted to the specific requirements of any clinical specialism, the project now focuses, for example, on dyspraxia among school children, the evaluation of visual-spatial neglect among head-accident victims, and the impairment of movement and coordination ability among patients with Parkinson´s disease. The common feature shared by all of these groups is the need for a quick and accurate diagnosis of a specific condition in order to allow them to quickly resume their everyday activities.

Project activities

Phase 1 (October 2003 - April 2004): Pooling resources and experience at both centres and with clinical partners
Phase 1 has enabled a centre of excellence to be set up, pooling cross-centre resources and experience. The centre of excellence has several aims:

- to promote and strengthen the cross-border research network,
- to meet the identified needs of the health authorities,
- to promote its mutual activities via a website,
- to share research data and methodologies.

Phase 2 (May 2004 - March 2005): design and engineer generic software framework
Phase 2 is devoted to the engineering and implementation of the software framework.

Phase 3 (October 2004 - January 2006): implementing task specific ´plug-ins´ and rehabilitation routines ; system testing
During Phase 3, additional task specific ´plug-ins´ will be implemented. Some basic clinical trials will be initiated to assess and refine system performance.

Phase 4 (October 2005 - September 2006): system trial in a hospital/clinic environment
Phase 4 will develop and implement a test protocol to conduct a trial of the system in a clinical environment, establishing performance characteristics. The system will then be modified according to requirements and feedback from patients.

Project duration

10/2003 - 09/2006