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Compatibility between Brain-Computer Interface and High-Efficiency Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42DC015142-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42DC015142
Amount: $538,655.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDCD
Solicitation Number: PA18-575
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-31
Small Business Information
1022 HEYL RD, Wooster, OH, 44691-9744
DUNS: 080143399
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (330) 262-1984
Business Contact
Phone: (330) 262-1984
Research Institution
ANN ARBOR, MI, 48109-5001
 Nonprofit college or university
Compatibility Between Brain Computer Interface and High Efficiency Augmentative and Alternative Communication SystemsPhase II ABSTRACTBrain computer interfacesBCIenable text production for people who cannot movebut have only simple communication interfaces and are not widely usedAugmentative and alternative communicationAACsystems are widely used and give efficient and precise communicationbut require movementpreventing use by people with severe impairmentssuch as advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or severe cerebral palsyOur Phase I STTR created and tested a software prototype of BCI access to the extensive language application and communication system product line of the Prentke Romich CompanyPRCThe prototype was evaluated by PRC userseach using the BCI to access a software replica of their everyday deviceThe overall objective of this Phase II application is to complete the hardware and software prototype of the AAC BCI along with training and resource materialsOur Phase I efforts showed compatibility of BCI access to PRC software with gel electrode hardwareUsers wanted shorter setup timeselimination of geland increased interface responsivenessClinicians and internet survey participants echoed this feedback and wanted easier setup and calibrationdry electrodesand convenient training resourcesOur central hypothesis is that a commercial grade implementation of BCI access to PRC language applications using quick setup dry electrodes with matching training and support resources will meet laboratory testing goals for effective communication and be ready for future clinical trials on its ability to meet desired communication outcomesThrough studies with participants familiar with PRCandapos s AAC software and technologywe plan to test our central hypothesis and meet the objective of the application with the following specific aimsOptimize user interface design to guide BCI setup and calibrationand to refine interface responsivenessand integration of BCI stimuli into existing device displaysCreate a commercial grade software implementation that integrates BCI functionally into the existing AAC systemCompare performance and user opinion of dry electrodes versus gelwetelectrodes as the inputperipheral for the AAC BCI systemImplement and evaluate training and resource materials for AAC BCI set up and calibration with inputfrom practitionerspotential users and their support peopleThis work will finalize a BCI input accessory for PRCandapos s line of AAC devicesThe innovation of this work is merging BCI access with the high efficiency language production from PRCandapos s AAC user interface designs that are matched to each personandaposabilitiesneedsand preferencesThe significance of this work is the extension of quality of life communication benefits to those with the most severe physical impairmentsproviding an AACBCI through an established company with a clinical support network to provide services across the lifespan NARRATIVEThe proposed project is relevant to public health because it will create brain computer interfaceBCIaccess to an established line of augmentative and alternative communicationAACsystems providing a voice to those who otherwise are isolated from their family members and societyThe combined AAC BCI system will provide precise language production supported by a broad network of clinical support personnel for those who cannot communicate through physical movementsThis will fulfill the mission of the NIH to reduce disability and enhance health by improving the quality of life for those with the most extreme physical impairments by creating an AAC BCI device designed for compatibility with established communicationproduct deliveryand funding mechanisms

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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