A WIRELESS USER-COMPUTER INTERFACE TO EXPLORE VARIOUS SOURCES OF BIOSIGNALS AND VISUAL BIOFEEDBACK FOR SEVERE MOTOR IMPAIRMENT
Keywords:Human-computer interaction, Assistive Technologies, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, wireless sensors, biosignals control, Complex Communication Needs, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Locked-in Syndrome
AbstractSevere speech and motor impairments caused by several neurological disorders can limit communication skills to simple yes/no replies. Variability among patients’ physical and social conditions justifies the need of providing multiple sources of signals to access to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems. Our study presents the development of a new user-computer interface that can be controlled by the detection of various sources of biosignals. Wireless sensors are placed on the body and users learn to enhance the control of detected signals by visual biofeedback, on a switch based control approach. Experimental results in four patients with just few residual movements showed that different sensors can be placed in different body locations and detect novel communication channels, according to each person’s physiological and social condition. Especially in progressive conditions, this system can be used by therapists to anticipate progression and assess new channels for communication.
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