Title: Computer-Assisted Communication Device for botulinum-intoxicated patients

Authors: Michael Adler, Richard E. Sweeney

Addresses: Neurobehavioral Toxicology Branch, Analytical Toxicology Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, 3100 Ricketts Point Road, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5400, USA. ' RESECO Research Engineering Consultants, PO Box 554, Nottingham, PA 19362, USA

Abstract: A Computer-Assisted Communication Device (CACD) was developed for patients paralysed by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) who are unable to speak due to toxin-induced dysphonia or obstruction from an endotracheal tube for assisted ventilation. The system uses pre-programmed menus and synthetic speech to allow for patient-initiated communication. The CACD was designed to meet the needs of patients who possess normal cognition and hearing, but impaired vision, and who are extensively paralysed but still able to press a switch to make menu choices. The CACD will allow patients to interact more effectively with their health care providers which should aid in their recovery.

Keywords: BoNT; botulinum neurotoxins; dysphonia; paralysis; intensive care; text-to-speech; patient care; computer-assisted communication devices; CACD; botulism; pre-programmed menus; synthetic speech; impaired vision; patient recovery.

DOI: 10.1504/TBJ.2008.026466

The Botulinum Journal, 2008 Vol.1 No.2, pp.170 - 182

Published online: 16 Jun 2009 *

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