Reliable/Safe Laser Pointing-People Locked-in Syndrome

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 4R44HD053176-02
Agency Tracking Number: HD053176
Amount: $262,328.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 956866784
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (479) 632-4166
Business Contact
Phone: (479) 632-4166
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The proposed project enables people with very limited movement to use a laser to control assistive devices - safely. This Phase 1 Fast-Track research focuses on developing a custom, low-cost, photosensitive material that detects the light from a laser. The fundamental scientific knowledge gained during Phase 1 will enable the research team to manufacture laser-sensing surfaces reliably. The goal for Phase 1 is to produce, without failure, five laser-sensing surfaces with a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 3:1. The Phase 2 Fast-Track research focuses on demonstrating the reliability, safety, and efficacy of the Safe- laser Pointing System for individuals with Locked-in Syndrome by completing three major tasks. First, the technical team will continue its work by optimizing the laser-sensing surface developed in Phase 1 and producing reliable prototypes for clinical evaluation. Second, we must design a Safe-laser pointer that is lightweight, and easy to wear and point. Third, individuals with Locked-in Syndrome (LIS), their families, and the professionals that care for them will comprehensively evaluate these prototypes over an 18-month clinical study. This evaluation will demonstrate the reliability and safety of the prototypes, and the efficacy of the Safe-laser Pointing System for meeting the assistive technology needs of the underserved LIS population, both from the perspective of training assistive technology use and successfully integrating technology into their lives. The Safe-laser Pointing System is an important, innovative, access method for a wide range of disability etiologies, including cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, brainstem stroke, traumatic brain injury, and myasthenia gravis. It enables many people with restricted movement to achieve direct access control of electronic technology and avoid the use of single-switch scanning. Upon completion of this research, we will implement a well-conceived and swift commercialization plan to make this technology available to the people that need it.

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

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