A new innovative device named as the EyeControl can now make a big difference to ALS patients!
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease that could leave sufferers completely immobilized, so immobile that patients couldn’t be able to talk. But this wearable device could be the key for them to communicate with people.
The EyeControl device aims to give a voice to those who are unable to communicate by allowing them to speak using their eyes. EyeControl is an infrared camera connected to a simple glasses frame that communicates with a credit-card sized computer. The computer identifies and translates the user’s blinks and eye movements into commands, which will output sound to earphones and to a speaker.
The device has three modes that can help the user communicate:
• An alert sound to call for assistance.
• Various predefined sentences, such as “I’m cold” or “My hand hurts”.
• Compose sentences similar to SMS messaging.
Those patients who suffer from ALS gradually lose their ability to speak and control their limbs, while maintaining cognitive abilities—a condition commonly referred to as “locked in.” People who suffer from stroke, car accidents, and other muscular dystrophy diseases can also be locked in, wherein this device could also be useful for them.
The challenges of some of the simple activities of daily living for patients with neurologically based diseases such as ALS and multiple sclerosis are numerous. While this technology is obviously in its infancy, the promise that it holds to change lives is tremendous,” says Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Marc Taub, OD, MS, FAAO, FCOVD.
According to the makers of the EyeControl system, 7 out of 10 ALS sufferers are priced out of this kind of technology, with existing devices costing in the region of $5,000. They believe they can bring the EyeControl to market for just 5% of that price, which would bring an affordable communication option to anyone who wants it!
People with ALS will no longer need to pay a high amount of money to have a voice,” says Or Retzkin , the Project Lead.
via Optometry Times