Posts Tagged Tablet
When a person’s arm has become paralyzed due to a stroke, therapists often try to get it moving again using what’s known as functional electrical stimulation – this involves delivering electric shocks to the arm, causing its muscles to move. Studies have shown, however, that it works better when the patient is in charge of delivering those shocks themselves. A new device lets them do so, and it has met with promising results.
The system was developed by Intento, a company affiliated with Switzerland’s EPFL research institute. It consists of three parts: electrodes that the patient places on their arm, a controller that is operated by their “good” hand, and a tablet running custom software.
The therapist starts by selecting a desired arm movement on the tablet, and then loading it into the controller. A display on the tablet’s screen then shows the patient where the electrodes should be placed. Once those are attached, the patient sets about using the controller to deliver shocks to their arm muscles, resulting in the targeted movement – this could be something like pressing a button or picking up an object.
Ideally, once the action has been repeated enough times, the muscles will be “trained” and it will be possible for the patient to perform the movement without any external stimulation.
In a clinical trial performed at Lausanne University Hospital, 11 severely stroke-paralyzed patients – for whom other therapies hadn’t worked – used for the device for 1.5-hour daily sessions, over a course of 10 days. A claimed 70 percent of them subsequently “showed a significant improvement in their motor functions,” as opposed to just 30 percent who were undergoing conventional occupational therapy.
A larger clinical study is now being planned, after which the device will hopefully be commercialized. The research is described in a paper that was recently published in the journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
[Conference paper] VRAndroid System Based on Cognitive Therapeutic Exercises for Stroke Patients – Abstract+References
It is presented VRAndroid System designed in Android and implemented on an Android Tablet, the system consists in a set of nine shapes based on cognitive therapeutic exercises for the motor rehabilitation in upper limbs, this tools provides perceptive feedback (vibration) to the patient as he follows the correct shape with his finger. There are two performed rehabilitation phases: (1) Through the Perffeti Technique (15 sessions), (2) Through VRAndroid System (15 sessions), the evolution and results of the rehabilitation are evaluated by the BOX AND BLOCK test, which shows that, the rehabilitation through this techniques help in the motor recovery of the upper limbs, moreover, the VRAndroid System is a useful tool to be used as a traditional rehabilitation supplement.
This post was written by Andrew Atkinson from www.mobilitysmart.cc.
Using a wheelchair or mobility scooter can mean that certain places and activities are off-limits.
The world is not designed for people on wheels. Many with disabilities, including the elderly, find themselves restricted in their day-to-day lives.
Technology can help. As well as specific gadgets and devices, users of wheelchairs and scooters can get a lot from iPads and Android tablets.
Here are five of the best apps for people with limited mobility. Why not add an iPad holder to your electric or manual wheelchair, then check out these five applications to add to your device?
Perhaps the most useful app that you can add to your device.
Wheelmap categorises buildings and public spaces as fully accessible, partially accessible or not accessible, so that you can see where your wheelchair will fit.
This is an app for everyone to get involved with. Many places are still categorised as unknown, so any user can contribute for the benefit of others.
In some towns and cities, Wheelmap is an extremely valuable and detailed resource. In others, it has the potential to be a wheelchair-user’s best digital friend.
Whilst Wheelmap covers buildings, venues and public spaces, Wheelmate focuses specifically on life’s little practicalities – wheelchair accessible toilets and parking spaces.
The premise is much the same, though the aim is different. Wheelmate also includes mention of which car parks are free, and which you’ll need to pay for.
Navigating the world often requires two hands.
Install Skype to your device, clip it to your wheelchair or mobility scooter and talk to friends and family on the go.
Skype’s video call functionality makes it incredibly easy to have phonecalls whilst in your local supermarket. Which flavour pasta sauce did your husband ask for, again?
For long-distance travel, Uber is a valuable app.
Uber taxis come in all shapes and sizes. You can book one at the touch of a button.
What’s more, you can specifically look for wheelchair accessible vehicles!
You don’t even need cash when you book your taxi. The service offers cashless payment, which is ideal if you’re stuck and need a little help getting home.
The Tecla Access product is designed to make your smartphone or tablet completely hands-free. It’s ideal if you need to be occupied controlling your wheels, rather than controlling your phone.
Tecla is designed for mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs, and it does require the purchase of additional equipment. But, once it’s set up, you can use motions like blinking and blowing, and can also use the controls on your wheelchair or scooter, to access every feature on your usually-handheld device.
With the right app combination, you can use Tecla Access to control every aspect of your home as well. This means that it’s easy to develop a smart home that is more accessible than ever before.
[Abstract] A Rehabilitation-Internet-of-Things in the Home to Augment Motor Skills and Exercise Training
Although motor learning theory has led to evidence-based practices, few trials have revealed the superiority of one theory-based therapy over another after stroke. Nor have improvements in skills been as clinically robust as one might hope.
We review some possible explanations, then potential technology-enabled solutions. Over the Internet, the type, quantity, and quality of practice and exercise in the home and community can be monitored remotely and feedback provided to optimize training frequency, intensity, and progression at home. A theory-driven foundation of synergistic interventions for walking, reaching and grasping, strengthening, and fitness could be provided by a bundle of home-based Rehabilitation Internet-of-Things (RIoT) devices. A RIoT might include wearable, activity-recognition sensors and instrumented rehabilitation devices with radio transmission to a smartphone or tablet to continuously measure repetitions, speed, accuracy, forces, and temporal spatial features of movement.
Using telerehabilitation resources, a therapist would interpret the data and provide behavioral training for self-management via goal setting and instruction to increase compliance and long-term carryover. On top of this user-friendly, safe, and conceptually sound foundation to support more opportunity for practice, experimental interventions could be tested or additions and replacements made, perhaps drawing from virtual reality and gaming programs or robots. RIoT devices continuously measure the actual amount of quality practice; improvements and plateaus over time in strength, fitness, and skills; and activity and participation in home and community settings. Investigators may gain more control over some of the confounders of their trials and patients will have access to inexpensive therapies.
[Abstract] A Rehabilitation-Internet-of-Things in the Home to Augment Motor Skills and Exercise Training
Although motor learning theory has led to evidence-based practices, few trials have revealed the superiority of one theory-based therapy over another after stroke. Nor have improvements in skills been as clinically robust as one might hope. We review some possible explanations, then potential technology-enabled solutions. Over the Internet, the type, quantity, and quality of practice and exercise in the home and community can be monitored remotely and feedback provided to optimize training frequency, intensity, and progression at home. A theory-driven foundation of synergistic interventions for walking, reaching and grasping, strengthening, and fitness could be provided by a bundle of home-based Rehabilitation Internet-of-Things (RIoT) devices. A RIoT might include wearable, activity-recognition sensors and instrumented rehabilitation devices with radio transmission to a smartphone or tablet to continuously measure repetitions, speed, accuracy, forces, and temporal spatial features of movement. Using telerehabilitation resources, a therapist would interpret the data and provide behavioral training for self-management via goal setting and instruction to increase compliance and long-term carryover. On top of this user-friendly, safe, and conceptually sound foundation to support more opportunity for practice, experimental interventions could be tested or additions and replacements made, perhaps drawing from virtual reality and gaming programs or robots. RIoT devices continuously measure the actual amount of quality practice; improvements and plateaus over time in strength, fitness, and skills; and activity and participation in home and community settings. Investigators may gain more control over some of the confounders of their trials and patients will have access to inexpensive therapies.
The gripAble device, developed by researchers from Imperial College London, is a lightweight electronic handgrip that interacts wirelessly with a standard PC tablet to enable users to play arm-training games.
To use the device, patients squeeze, turn, or lift the handgrip, and it vibrates in response to the patients’ performance. A mechanism within the device can detect even tiny flicker movements from severely paralyzed patients and channel them into controlling a computer game.
A study published recently in PLoS ONE notes that, according to the researchers, use of the gripAble device among stroke patients with arm paralysis may help increase the patients’ ability to direct movements on a tablet screen, compared to standard methods such as swiping or tapping, by up to 50%, according to a news release from Imperial College London.
Additionally, they note in the release, the device enabled more than half of the severely disabled patients in the study to engage with arm-training software, whereas none of the patients were able to use conventional control methods such as swiping and tapping on tablets and smartphones.
In the study, carried out at Charing Cross Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare Trust, between 2014 and 2015, the device was tested among stroke patients with arm paralysis. The researchers assessed the patients’ ability to use gripAble to control mobile gaming devices such as tablets, and compared this to their use of conventional methods such as swiping and tapping.
According to their examination, 93% of the patients were able to make meaningful movements to direct the cursor as a result of using gripAble. In contrast, 67% of patients were able to use mobile gaming devices by swiping on a tablet. For other types of control over the tablet, such as tapping or using joysticks, the number of patients able to make meaningful movements was lower, the release continues.
The success of the device was most apparent for patients with severe arm weakness, the researchers note: no patients in this group were able to use conventional controls to play training games, whereas 58% could use gripAble.
“We have developed the gripAble device to improve arm and cognitive function of patients who have mild to severe arm weaknesses. Unlike other therapies currently on the NHS, gripAble is a low-cost device, which can be used in hospitals and independently by patients at home. As such it could potentially help save the health service millions of pounds,” says lead researcher Dr Paul Bentley, a clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, in the release.
“We now intend to further develop the device so we can help more patients who are currently suffering from the effects of poor arm and upper body mobility,” he adds.
[Source(s): Imperial College London, Science Daily]
While brain monitoring using EEG is not a new technique, advancements in technology may allow it to be used for detecting a variety of conditions that are currently hard to diagnose. Samsung is continuing to show evidence that it’s serious about getting a major foothold in the medical field with the announcement that it’s been working on a wearable EEG headset that can be used by patients themselves to detect signs of stroke as well as for regular monitoring to gauge stress levels, analyze sleep, and other brain health parameters that are often not measured quantitatively.
The Early Detection Sensor & Algorithm Package (EDSAP) will pair up with a user’s smartphone or tablet to display the results of the ECG tests, which can be done within about a minute. The company says that its sensors are able to pickup a much higher quality signal than current EEG headsets thanks to newly developed dry electrodes made of a novel material discovered by the group. The material is rubbery in feel, is highly conductive, and doesn’t require a gel or saline solution to be applied to make a good electrical connection with the scalp.
On the software side, Samsung’s team developed an algorithm that compares a particular EEG scan against a previous analysis of a bunch of stroke patient EEG scans. Using signal processing and artificial intelligence methods, the algorithm aims to spot telltale signs of stroke. In addition to this technology finding its way into ambulances and emergency rooms, the company believes that it can be used by patients themselves that suspect having had a minor stroke. Moreover, the dry electrodes may allow other form factors to help monitor EEG over longer periods by embedding the electrodes into the tips of glasses or into headphones to grab brainwaves through the temples.
While the technology is currently being explored for EEG, the researchers believe that it can be translated to monitor the heart via ECG.
An inexpensive, full-page Braille tablet could make topics like science and math more easily accessible to the blind, according to a team of researchers who have built a prototype device.
The device, which is under development at the University of Michigan, uses liquid or air to fill tiny bubbles, which then pop up and create the blocks of raised dots that make up Braille. Each bubble has what is essentially a logic gate that opens or remains closed to control the flow of liquid after each command, according to Sile O’Modhrain, a professor of performing arts technology who collaborated on the tablet.
Existing refreshable Braille displays tend to max out at one line of text and cost several thousand dollars. They use plastic pins pushed up and down by a motor. The Michigan team found it impossible to pack the pins in densely enough to create a reasonably sized full-page display, and as a result started from scratch with the microfluidic option. The switch could help them make the final product tablet-sized instead of laptop-sized, like existing refreshable displays.
The tablet borrows manufacturing techniques from the silicon industry, where chips are laid down in layers instead of having many small parts to assemble. As a result, the Michigan team is aiming to offer a Braille tablet for less than $1,000.
“My observation is that, currently, even many of us who read Braille well find reading it with single-line Braille displays slower and more tiring than using text-to-speech or audio materials,” says Chris Danielsen, a spokesperson for the National Federation of the Blind. “I think this would dramatically change with a larger display, especially one at a reasonable price point.”
As access to text-to-speech software has grown, pressure to learn Braille has dropped. A 2009 report from the National Federation of the Blind stated that less than 10 percent of blind children were learning Braille at the time, compared with 50 to 60 percent at Braille’s height in the 1960s.
But that doesn’t mean there is no longer a need for the 200-year-old writing system. Braille books, for example, have long been used to show the blind textured images. Text-to-speech software can’t convey the same visual information. However, if there isn’t a book available, people with visual impairments have to turn to another person to prepare them materials, which can be expensive.
“Anything where you want to be able to see stuff written down, like coding or music or even just mathematics, you really have to work in Braille,” says O’Modhrain, who is visually impaired. “That just means for a lot of people these things are not accessible or not available.”
O’Modhrain believes the team is about a year and a half away from commercializing the technology, which may be used for an application other than Braille at first. That would drive the cost down for its later adoption by the blind.
“It would be great to see these getting into school so children can learn to read math and science materials,” O’Modhrain says.
[WEB SITE] Handable Aims to Help Those with Hand and Wrist Mobility Issues Hold Phones and Tablets with Ease
Published on October 16, 2015
The HandAble Company, a division of Mobile Innovations, introduces the Handable handheld phone holder, an accessory built to enable those who experience short- or long-term hand and wrist issues hold their cell phones and tablets more easily.
According to a media release from the company, the accessory features a peel-and-stick design that attaches to any smartphone or tablet. Once attached, the top of Handable extends away from the back of the device. The user then slides their fingers underneath.
The Handable then enables the user to provide a strong grip on the cell phone or tablet without needing to use grasping muscles.
With the Handable in place, the cell phone or tablet device remains free for the user to rotate, without having to worry about worsening their injury when using devices for an extended period, the release continues.
For more information, visit the HandAble Company.
But recently, he figuratively cut the cord to his desktop and joined the mobile revolution. Morales was visiting an area Veterans Affairs blind rehabilitation center, learning how to use an iPhone’s features for people with vision impairment.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Morales said, demonstrating how he can call up a song and play it with a few taps. “Whatever I can do on the computer I can basically do it on the iPhone. It has the same capability.”
The smartphone, a gadget designed for the sighted, has turned out to be a godsend for those who are blind and visually impaired, making them more independent than ever before.
With VoiceOver, the iPhone’s built-in gesture-based app that reads text on a touch-screen aloud, or Google Android’s TalkBack, users who are blind can access anything on their phones. The user activates apps with a few gestures — single finger to explore and find buttons, one-finger touch to identify things on the screen and double-tap to push the button after it’s located.
“It’s a learning curve, but you can learn to do every single thing on an iPhone that anyone else can do,” said Lee Huffman, editor of AccessWorld, published by the American Foundation for the Blind. “These devices are opening up a whole new world.”
It didn’t look like it would turn out that way at first.
“The blind community started getting really panicky” when smartphones and later, tablets, took off following the iPhone’s debut in 2007, researcher Joshua Miele, associate director of Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, recalled. “Touch-screens were a real concern.
”But in 2009, Apple included VoiceOver in its mobile operating system, and followed up with the personal assistant Siri in 2011, launching a new world of mobility for the visually impaired. Google added TalkBack, a screen reader, to its Android operating system in 2009 and Google Now, a personal assistant, in 2012. Microsoft mobile has similar features.
“It’s made a huge difference, productivity-wise,” said Jennison Asuncion, accessibility leader at LinkedIn, who is blind. “I use my mobile phone probably even more than lot of people.”
Erin Lauridsen, 32, a trainer at the Independent Living Resource Center in San Francisco, has been blind since birth and grew up using expensive, clunky, single-purpose devices for doing coursework in school. “When the iPhone 3GS came out with VoiceOver built in it was a huge game-changer for me and a lot of other people,” she said.
She uses an app called BlindSquare for navigation; Money Reader to identify currency denominations; and Voice Dream Reader to assemble audio play lists of documents from many sources. She also uses Uber and a lot of other popular apps.
“I’m on an equal footing with what everyone else does — the Yelping, Facebooking and Twittering,” she said.
People who are visually impaired want to use their mobile phones like anyone else, said Astrid Weber, who researches user experience at Google, visiting people who are visually impaired in their homes to see what they need and how they use technology.
“Mobility is really important for them,” she said.
Google Now — the Android personal assistant — is popular with users with vision impairment, said Eve Andersson, manager of Google’s accessibility engineering. Her parents who are vision impaired use it all the time, she said. “They ask their phones questions, ask it to call me, ask it for directions and create reminders. They love being able to do that with their voice.
”For years there have been screen readers for desktop computers. OutSpoken, developed by Berkeley Systems in the late 1980s, was the first for the Mac, according to Smith-Kettlewell’s Miele, who worked for the company.
But while VoiceOver and TalkBack broke the tether to the desktop, third-party apps still have to be made accessible to people with disabilities.
There’s a legal issue too. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires websites and mobile applications to be accessible, said disability rights lawyer Lainey Feingold, although regulations are still being worked on by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Google announced Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities last year with a $20 million grant for technology innovators in the nonprofit community who work on technology to make people with disabilities more independent. “We’re actively looking for proposals,” said Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink of Google.org….