You might have reached this page because you want to help someone who has severe speech impairment and a motoric impairment, leaving her unable to control a keyboard by hand? Possibly because of ALS (MND/ Lou Gehrig’s disease), PLS or stroke.
Our venture has indeed been founded to develop a solution for this based on a Brain Computer Interface, and we have demonstrated with a patient in Belgium that we may be able to help some locked-in patients.
However, at this moment in time we have not reached the point of a certified, and hence sellable, product, nor have we found a business model to support such a solution in a sustainable way.
PRODUCT UNDER DEVELOPMENT
MindAffect is developing a new communication device that works by detecting brain signals. To use this system, no body movements are necessary. It can also work in situations or with patients that don’t allow using eye-tracking.
HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK?
The user wears a headset with sensors on the back of the head (EEG). A tablet (iPad) shows several buttons, each flickering with its own pattern. When the user watches one of these buttons, the brain will emit a pattern that resembles the flickering pattern of the button. The sensors can measure this brain activity, allowing the system to detect at what button the user is looking. This way, a speech generating device or for instance an alarm button can be controlled without movement.
We have received valuable feedback in a pilot with ALS-patients in Belgium and the Netherlands, and have decided to offer our technology under an open-source license. In practice this will mean for you that:
- With open sourced development kit, we allow people around the world to assemble a BCI-solution, and tailor the application to their local needs (e.g. change key-board layout, alphabet or couple with home automation system)
- Local assistive technology companies can use the technology to build standard components to offer commercially to patients
- With the Belgian and Dutch ALS-associations we will try to organise a (globally repeatable) model whereby needy patients can test the solution with assistive technology professionals.
TESTING THE TECHNOLOGY
We no longer bring our prototypes to tests with patients. Local assistive technology companies may be able to help with building a solution, based on our development-kit.