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Posted on May 02, 2017

World's first wearable EMG assistive technology

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NeuroNode is the world's first wearable EMG assistive technology device developed by Control Bionics. It gives those with ALS/MND, spinal cord injury, or any other condition causing paralysis and loss of speech a connection to the world. The NEURONODE uses the body's bioelectric EMG (electromyographic) signals to completely control a computer to generate speech, browse the web, listen to music, and more. It is resistive/augmentative communication (AAC) technology that is easy to use and works for conditions like ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), MND, SCI, or cerebral palsy.
 
EMG, or "electromyography," is the measurement of electrical activity associated with the activation of a muscle group as detected by non-invasive electrodes on the surface of the skin. EMG signals have been used in clinical and research settings since the 1980s for things like diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases, rehabilitation, and controlling prosthetic devices.
 
It has taken more than 11 years developing EMG technology as a communications channel for people with severe paralysis. EMG technology is most promising because it taps directly into the available controllable signals being sent from the brain to muscles, even if they are not detectable physically. The NeuroNode can detect and amplify the faintest EMG signals. It also adapts to their body's changes over time, requiring no manual recalibration, so the user can continue to use it even as the condition progresses.
 
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The NeuroNode Controller application offers immediate, intuitive operation, often requiring less than an hour to master. What's more, help is easy to find: the system includes live 24/7 telepresence support. The NeuroNode Controller Application, installed on the user's chosen device, is used to set the signaling threshold while continuously graphing the EMG data stream. This smart application automatically re-calibrates to adjust to the user's strength and energy level without assistance from a caregiver or clinician.
 
Features:
 
  • Bluetooth wireless connection
  • Medical-grade, small, wireless sensor attaches directly to your skin
  • Connects to any computer, iPad, tablet, or mobile device
  • Compatible with iOS10, Android, and Windows operating systems
  • Compatible with most popular assistive scanning software such as Apple Switch Control and Google Switch Access
 
Benefits:
 
  • Easy for caregivers to setup and operate
  • Reliable operation once calibrated
  • Fast for users to learn and control - begin using it within 30 minutes and quickly become proficient
  • Low user fatigue to operate
  • Adjustable sensitivity according to individual user and fatigue levels
  • Not affected by changes in lighting conditions
  • Can be used with existing devices and operating systems
  • Allows users to send emails, play games, access social media, text message, watch and download online entertainment, and even operate external devices.
 
The NeuroNode wireless sensor is placed on the skin over the muscle chosen to be the switch. When you attempt to move that muscle, the NeuroNode detects your bioelectrical (EMG) signals, even if there is no visible muscle movement, and uses these signals to allow you to control your computer, tablet, or cellular device.
 
Compatible with most popular devices and operating systems, the NeuroNode allows users to reconnect to the world and find their voice again.
 
While a direct selection device such as an eye tracking system might at first seem preferable to a scanning device, many people with conditions like ALS find the NeuroNode is less tiring and more reliable as their condition changes over time. Even if the user requires a ventilator, the NeuroNode continues working. This means families and health care systems only have to purchase one AAC device for long-term use.
 
 
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Source and top image: Control Bionics
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Wearable USA 2017 External Link on 15 - 16 Nov 2017 in Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA hosted by IDTechEx.