Story Of This Spark

What is the inspiration?
ALS currently has no effective treatments. Eventually patients lose their ability to speak and are reliant on technology for communication. Current augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices are generally slow, limiting the ability of patients to have normal conversations. Improving the functionality of AAC devices will have a huge impact on patients' quality of life.
Why is this important to me?
I have ALS and am blown away at the continued accomplishments of so many patients who have lost most of their physical abilities. Individuals like Eric Valor, Steve Gleason, Scott Lew, & Augie Nieto continue to lead incredibly productive lives while dependent on technology to communicate. Improving the ability of patients to communicate is crucial in maintaining their QOL while we wait for a cure.
Tags

eye gaze

Communication

ALS

AAC

Industries
IT/Software
Medical Devices
Telecommunications

More to the Story

Stephen Finger

Most patients currently use some type of mouse (eye, head, hand, or foot) in conjunction with a tablet computer to generate speech and type messages. Improvements on either the hardware (mouse performance) or software (interface, predicton, etc..) side could greatly increase the function of the AAC devices and facilitate more natural interactions between patients and the people around them.

about 2 years ago