Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Enhancing Communication Through Biosignals in Severe Neuromuscular Conditions

Londral, A. R. ; Nunes, N. ; Silva, H. ; Carvalho, M. C. ; Azevedo, L. A.

Enhancing Communication Through Biosignals in Severe Neuromuscular Conditions, Proc International Conf. on NeuroRehabilitation - ICNR, Toledo, Spain, Vol. , pp. - , August, 2012.

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Patients affected with neurological disorders can experience severe speech and motor disturbances, sometimes with communication skills limited to yes/no reply. Our study presents the development of a new platform to provide flexible and efficient computer control. Wireless sensors are placed on the body, so that the user can take advantage of any residual movement to generate control signals. These control signals can be used to access an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) software or any virtual keyboard. Experimental results in three patients with few residual movements show that different sensors, placed in different body locations, can create novel communication channels, selectable according to each person’s neurological condition. By providing visualization of the body signal in real time, the user can raise awareness of residual movements, and learn to enhance its control. In progressive conditions, this biofeedback activity can assist the user and the therapist to anticipate the progression and search for alternatives.