Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. These motor neurons basically control the muscles throughout the body, and their progressive degeneration eventually leads to the death of ALS patients.

Stephen Hawking

Originally published by Eyegaze | story by Pete Norloff | March 20 2019

In the first stages of ALS, patients begin to lose control of their muscle movements as their motor neurons die. In later stages of the disease, voluntary muscle action is affected, and patients may become totally paralysed.

ALS is a devastating disease that robs patients of their ability to experience life to the fullest. While no technology can heal motor neurons, allowing patients to do all the things they used to do, assistive technologies like the Eyegaze Edge can help them recapture important parts of everyday life.

The Eyegaze Edge empowers users to communicate and interact with the world, despite their disabilities. Not only can they hold conversations by typing messages or selecting pre-programmed phrases, they can also attend school, surf the Internet, and participate in social media using their eye movements.

In fact, the Eyegaze Edge has optional programs that allow users to do all of the following:

Operate lights and appliances remotely

Control infrared devices such as televisions and stereos

Surf the Web and send emails

Wirelessly control their own PC or Mac, using the Computer Access program’s on-screen keyboard and mouse

Store and play music

Organize photos and home movies and view them

Read books on Kindle

Watch YouTube videos

Use a word processor

Update their Facebook Page

The Eyegaze Edge can be customized to fit unique user needs as well. Users can easily change the gaze duration, phrases, and appliance labels, for example. Users can even create their own custom communication screens, which can be stored for continued use.

While we are still searching for an ALS cure, patients can regain some of their normal everyday activities with assistive technologies such as ours. Stay tuned for future blog posts, where we will highlight additional disabilities that can be aided by the Eyegaze Edge.

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