The ALS Locked-in Communicator

Period of Performance: 09/01/2006 - 01/31/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cleveland Medical Devices, Inc.
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Standard Assistive Technology (AT) solutions do not help people with locked-in syndrome because most AT input devices depend on some form of small but reliable muscle movement, such as pressing a button, eye movements, or blinking. This program will provide a simple device to take standard AT technology to the next level with Biometric Interfaces. This program will develop a four-mode communication aid for disabled individuals. Since a large share of its market will be advanced stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrigs Disease, or ALS) patients and other locked-in patients, it will be referred to "The ALS Locked-ln COmmunicatoR, or TALCOR (pronounced "TALKER"). The goal of this program is to develop and validate a new device that allows severely disable individuals who cannot communicate to do so. TALCOR will provide four different methods of non-traditional communications: 1. Brain Computer Interface (BCI) using EEG; 2. Galvanic Skin Response (GSR). 3. pH changes in the mouth; and 4. Amplified and filtered muscle movement, EMG: In Phase I, we will build a prototype TALCOR that will demonstrate all four modes on the lab bench and with healthy volunteers, and at least one of these methods (or modes) of communication with a patient that currently does not have the ability to communicate. In Phase II, we will upgrade the selected communication modes, harden the device, improve the software, enhance the design toward manufacturing and commercialization, and test the device on patients in the modes selected in Phase I to show its utility.