Exploring Multi-Modal Communication Approach for Young Children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Miao, Sheng
Tang, Ziying
Feng, Jinjuan
Jozkowski, Amanda
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Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a rare genetic disease affecting approximately 1 in 10,000 babies, yet it is the number 1 genetic killer of infants and toddlers. Individuals with SMA, especially the most serve type I, can face great challenges in communication, environment control, and learning knowledge. Since most hildren with type I SMA have extremely limit muscular functionality, they cannot use regular interactive devices. In this study, we propose a multi-modal communication approach and explore various sensors and switches for SMA users. Specifically, we propose a light-weight and wireless microcontroller to process electric signals from sensors and switches. It can be paired and used in any devices which supports Bluetooth. Moreover, an interactive game and a three-phase pilot study are designed for assessing usability of various input devices.
IT Architectures and Implementations in Healthcare Environments, Assistive healthcare, Young children, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Sensor
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