Eye Trackers for people with a lack of motility

Eye Trackers for People

Each person tries to live a full life and care for his own health and those of people close to him. Unfortunately, a full life in the usual understanding of the term is not granted to everyone - stress and anxiety, trauma and the effects of surgical intervention, poor living conditions or bad habits, as many other causes can lead to disability. The consequences in this case are very diverse, and often cause a partial or complete loss of motor activity.

No one is immune to this. Accidents, work injuries related to dangerous jobs, strokes and heart attacks as a result of various diseases - any of these reasons can permanently chain the victim to a wheelchair or bed. As a result someone who until recently lived a full life, loses suddenly the ability to move normally and communicate, without outside help and constant attention.

For both the victim and for those close to him it is a state of deep shock; not just because of the loss of physical ability, but also because the patient will no longer be able to communicate with others as before and will remain mentally traumatized. For those who have lost the ability to move, communication by means of movements and gestures will be inaccessible. Those who in addition to this have lost the ability to speak will literally become trapped inside their own body, unable to express their feelings or experiences, or ask for help and support.

Such lesions, as Guillain-Barre syndrome, ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, polio, myasthenia gravis may cause human motor activity disorders and lead to a complete loss of speech and paralysis. At the same time the patient can maintain clarity of consciousness and sensitivity to external stimuli, but be unable to respond to them, except through eye movement, most patients keep this ability.

With proper care and medical services in some cases a partial restoration of mobility of the limbs or the speech is possible, but either way rehabilitation is a long and complex process, which must be approached with the utmost responsibility and understanding. Some victims are forced to communicate solely through eye movements for life.

For this reason it is important to establish contact with the paralyzed by any available means. If there is a way for the patient to perceive and respond to external stimuli - be it through finger movements, swinging the head or blinking the eyes, it can be used for communication. To communicate through any of these methods a constant presence of an assistant posing monosyllabic questions using a special text table or graphic matrix with images is necessary.

For example, if the patient kept the ability to blink, the assistant may ask him: "Do you feel pain right now?" "Would you like a drink?", "Are you Hungry? '. Asking successively and watching carefully the response, the assistant will be able to get answers to his questions. In the same way he can show the patient signs with the words "eat", "drink", "pain" etc., and the patient will tell him about his state through blinking.

Such a method of communication enables us to maintain contact with the paralyzed which is in conscious state and retained at least some motor activity. However it is worth noting that such communication requires from the patient and the assistant a constant concentration, attention and a lot of patience; It also is extremely slow, as the patient often needs rest. When a paralyzed person gets used to such a method of communication, it becomes possible to use a more complicated version of special tables. The assistant in turn indicates the patient the letters in the text matrix and the latter shows by the available to him means when the right character is selected. By composing words and sentences letter by letter, the patient becomes not only able to simply answer the question asked by the assistant, but also to say what he wants. Of course, this form of communication is much more complicated and requires more attention, but it allows making communication more fulfilling.

Along with the visible benefits, communication via text matrix has a number of drawbacks. First, such communication is very slow, in the beginning the patient and the assistant may make mistakes and lose concentration. Often they have to start all over and make long pauses. Second, a direct consequence of this is that the assistant must spend as much time with the patient as possible, which is not always possible. Specialized medical institutions have a strict schedule and their personnel cannot stay permanently with paralyzed patients. Third, the constant care, attention and diligence of a professional assistant will have substantial financial costs.

At the same time, communication is the only thing the patients can do, and its absence can negatively affect the length and the ability of their rehabilitation. If confined to bed paralyzed patient keep in touch with the outside world and do not close in himself, it might give him more chances of recover and simply keep the will to live.

One of the most well-known stories is that of a 43-year-old editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a severe stroke and retains only the mobility of one eye after a long coma. Being completely paralyzed he was able to write his autobiography with a text matrix and an assistant, in which he told about himself - a man trapped in his own body. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" has become the world's best-selling book and was later made into a movie.