As we have discussed on this blog, eye tracking technology benefits people living with a number of disabilities and debilitating diseases. People with multiple sclerosis (MS) can also benefit from our Eyegaze Edge®, which allows the user’s eyes to become a portal for basic communication.
More than 2.5 million people worldwide live with MS, which is an unpredictable, debilitating disease of the central nervous system that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, and communication systems. MS treatment must be highly individualized because different classifications show differing outward progressions of the disease. Unfortunately, many people with MS experience a slow or rapid decay in neurological and motor function that will ultimately lead to a decline in communication ability.
That’s where our Eyegaze Edge® comes in. Our internationally trusted and locally loved system compensates for declining communicative abilities with no dependence on motor skills, low eye fatigue, and nothing attached to the user’s head or body. The Eyegaze Edge® works with a special eye tracking camera mounted below the screen, which observes one of the user’s eyes. Sophisticated image processing software analyzes the camera’s images 60 times each second and determines where the user is looking on the screen.
This technology opens a whole new world of communication for MS patients, whose speech is often affected by progressive incoordination, muscular weakness, and spasticity over phases of relapse, and is characterized by labored articulation, impaired volume control, impaired emphasis, and articulatory breakdowns. Sadly, due to these effects, people with MS report changes in life participation, and specifically communication participation. For example, individuals who experience ataxic dysarthria express that their desired communication does not come out properly, leaving them misunderstood by listeners.
Many MS patients experience decreased language output ability and stamina to communicate. However, individuals who lose the ability to functionally communicate throughout the day will benefit from our Eyegaze Edge®. Our system increases quality of life because it corrects decline in communicative ability and preserves the patient’s communication rights.
A user in Pennsylvania’s father had this to say about the Eyegaze Edge®:
Thank you and everyone you work with. My son Jack is laying in his hospital bed right now using his Eyegaze to chat with his friends on Facebook, check his email, and he just posted on his web page… the nurses and doctors are amazed watching him do all of this with a breathing tube in his throat and about 20 other assorted lines attached to various parts of his body.