Kiichi and Hiroko Otsuka, Tokyo, Japan
Kiichi Otsuka, an ALS patient from Japan, lost his ability to speak due to a tracheotomy. However, his life took a positive turn when he discovered NeuroNode—an innovative communication device that has transformed his ability to connect with others.
Kiichi’s Communication Challenges:
Kiichi Otsuka, an ALS patient from Japan, lost his ability to speak due to a tracheotomy. However, his life took a positive turn when he discovered NeuroNode—an innovative technology aide for communication. NeuroNode has transformed his ability to connect with others. He previously used local AAC equipment and a pneumatic switch, but as his condition worsened, he found it difficult to use the switch and eventually had to give up the AAC equipment. His communication was limited to a transparent letter board, with the assistance of his wife Hiroko Otsuka.
In January 2023, Kiichi started using NeuroNode as a new switch, enabling him to use his AAC equipment again. He can now create sentences using the NeuroNode and have them read out loud. This is allowing him to converse and express himself once more. Kiichi is grateful for the ability to communicate with his family, caregivers, and friends using NeuroNode. Through platforms like LINE and email, he can send sentences and convey words on his own. This has brought immense joy, especially when communicating with his grandchildren.
NeuroNode’s compatibility with Kiichi’s existing equipment and computer setup has been a game-changer. He can use familiar tools, access his voice recordings, and address book, reconnect with loved ones online, and enjoy saved photos and videos. Kiichi appreciates NeuroNode’s versatility and sensitivity. It can be attached to any movable body part, allowing him to adapt even if certain muscles become difficult to control. Unlike his previous pneumatic switch, NeuroNode’s EMG technology ensures easy and continuous use without exhaustion. Kiichi believes that NeuroNode is essential for his daily life, connecting with people, and expressing his feelings. He finds joy in having newfound capabilities and is confident in continuing to use NeuroNode even if his condition worsens.
Kiichi Otsuka’s journey with NeuroNode demonstrates the transformative impact of assistive technologies on individuals with communication limitations. By restoring his ability to communicate and reconnect with loved ones, NeuroNode has given Kiichi hope and a renewed sense of empowerment.
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