Electronic aids for daily living.

Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Suite 5044, Forbes Tower, Atwood and Sennott Streets, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 1.09). 02/2010; 21(1):33-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmr.2009.07.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Electronic aids to daily living (EADLs) are devices that facilitate the operation of electrical appliances in a given environment for a person with a severe physical disability. These specialized devices can provide tremendous psychological and functional benefits to someone with a severe disability, their family members and caregivers. This article provides an overview of the utility, functionality, access, acquisition, and evaluation of EADLs. It also highlights challenges in obtaining and measuring the benefits of these devices.

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    ABSTRACT: An electronic aid for daily living, using Morse code as an adapted access communication tool, is presented in this study. The study aim is to help quadriplegics operate appliances, allowing them to live more independently. This system consists of four modules: the assistive computer input device, application software, communication control board, and the appliance control nodes. ZigBee is used to avoid the problem of "line of sight" encountered with infrared transmission to permit long-distance transmission without space limitation. Also, a visual design methodology reduces the burden of operating the application software. Users can easily click control buttons on the application software through the assistive computer input device. Within a one-month evaluation, three subjects, quadriplegics who were users well-trained on operating the assistive computer input device, could smoothly manipulate the system from the beginning and became dependent on the system progressively. Data based on system activity was recorded. Also, the subjects and care-givers were questioned about their experience with the system during the evaluation period. According to the results, the three subjects totally agreed that the system changed their life significantly and the most used function was the control of television. Finally, care-givers of the three subjects appreciated the benefit of this system. They experienced fewer interruptions of their daily routine.
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    ABSTRACT: The benefits of using appropriate assistive technology (AT) have been widely recognized. In the developed world, AT is recommended by a well established network of health professionals. It is reasonable to suggest that medical insurance coverage for AT has been an important promoter of the ever-increasing availability of these devices. In less developed countries, AT is almost nonexistent due in part to the lack of private and government insurance coverage for these devices. This scarcity of AT affects individuals with disabilities of all ages, particularly children with developmental disabilities. For this group, lack of AT can result in severe muscular skeletal deformities that could have been prevented if the appropriate AT, like contoured seating systems, had been available to them. Although the benefits of contoured seating have been widely reported, acquiring contoured seats in less developed nations is very difficult, if at all possible. The aim of this project was to identify local materials and design and develop the tools and equipment needed to manually fabricate contoured seating systems. This project describes the selection process of commercially available foams to be used in the carving of contoured seating systems, together with the development of a manual foam carving machine. Results show that the carving machine and the commercially available foams can be used to manually fabricate contoured seating systems that provide proper support and comfort to children with disabilities.
    IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2011, Seattle, WA, USA, October 30 - November 1, 2011; 01/2011


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