One AAC solution, one SLP evaluation, and one funding application.
NeuroNode: An Introduction
NeuroNode is at the heart of the Control Bionics AAC product line. This device has multiple access methods built into one small, wearable device. The user can control their communication system utilizing NeuroNode’s EMG or Spatial mode.
EMG (electromyography) is the measurement of electrical activity associated with the activation of a muscle group as detected by non-invasive electrodes on the surface of the skin.
While the NeuroNode’s use of EMG for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) a technological breakthrough, EMG has been used in clinical and research settings for decades. We have spend 10 years advancing the EMG technology inside the NeuroNode specifically for people living with severe motor impairments
Spatial mode allows the device to track its location in space and create a switch based on that location.
In the alternative Spatial mode, the NeuroNode is placed on some part of the body registering voluntary movement – no matter how big or small the movement is. This movement is captured instantaneously by the NeuroNode and presented to the client and clinician in the NeuroNode Controller Application.
EMG or Spatial – a simple, unified user interface becomes the gateway to unlocking communication for your clients.
EMG and Spatial control provide a powerful access method for a wide range of conditions with many benefits:
• Wearable, wireless design providing consistent, reliable access regardless of position or environment
• Less tiring and more consistent that ago-old, industry standard access methods
• Completely wireless design makes daily use hassle free for caregivers and clinicians
Wondering if NeuroNode is right for your patient? Contact Us
Assessing a Patient for a Communication Device
Many SLPs know that several factors must be considered when assessing a patient for a speech-generating / assistive device: their wants and needs, degree of voluntary movement, energy level, and cognitive abilities are key. We understand this can be a time consuming and sometimes overwhelming process, but we’re here to help you along the way!
Good candidates often fit one of these profiles:
A person with a degenerative disease, such as ALS/MND or SMA.
This person might start using a Control Bionics Communication Device in the early stages of their illness. As the disease progresses, they will not have to learn a new device, communication program, or method of access.
Starting early is not a requirement! While we encourage early adoption, our communication systems also offer solutions for clients with severe paralysis and locked-in syndrome. Our powerful combination of access methods + commitment to our clients means no one should be left in silence.
A person with a spinal cord injury (SCI), cerebral palsy (CP), or partial paralysis. Whether or not this person needs the help of the NeuroNode to speak, they will find the NeuroNode an extremely simple, effective way to use a computer and environmental controls.
A person who has severe or profound communication needs or is on a ventilator, regardless of whether they are paralyzed. Using the NeuroNode becomes second nature – patients tell us that they feel like they actually become the switch, making it an extremely fast, efficient way to speak using a computer. For those suffering from extreme fatigue, the NeuroNode is much less tiring than an eye, press, or puff switch.
How It Works
The NeuroNode is attached to the patient using an adhesive electrode or non-adhesive electrode and NeuroBand. The patient can set NeuroNode to activate in one of two modes, EMG or Spatial.
Once a mode is determined, the clinician utilizes the NeuroNode Controller Application to ensure the patient can made a switch. The application provides visual and verbal feedback as well as real time graphing of the clients signaling ability – making calibration and customization a quick and simple process.
NeuroNode amplifies and interprets the clients signal, then sends it to the clients Control Bionics communication device.
On the communication device, this switch is translated into a mouse click to manipulate the clients communication and control software. This can allow the patient to operate a keyboard appropriate to their needs – from something very simple, like a list of a few words, to a full alphanumeric keyboard with predictive text for speaking and writing in fluent, complete thoughts. The mouse controls can provide full access to all of the computer’s features for web browsing, sending email, etc.
Introducing the Patient and Caregivers to NeuroNode
A representative of Control Bionics works with the clinician – often an SLP – to introduce the NeuroNode to the patient. We understand that each person learning to use a new assistive communication device will have unique needs.
An SLPs Account of Using NeuroNode
“There is no greater feeling in the world than watching a patient, connected to their NeuroNode for the first time, realize that the world has opened back up for them.”
– Caitlin Smith, MA CCP-SLP
CAITLIN SMITH, MA CCP-SLP: Since starting to work with this EMG technology, I have been able to connect technology with people who have some of the greatest communication challenges I had ever seen in my twenty five year career. I have been able to help people who could not speak, move, eat, or breathe on their own communicate to loved ones even when they were placed into ICU units or in palliative care.
One of the most powerful experiences I had with this technology was with a patient in the ICU due to a serious injury. He was not able to move, breathe, speak, or eat on his own. This patient had a loving wife and two small children. His final arrangements were being planned because he was not responding to his caretakers. Most people thought he had given up.
After I connected him with EMG for communication, he immediately was able to turn on his lamp beside his bed. This changed everything. He turned a corner that day and now he is living independently. The best news of all is that he doesn’t need the device any longer.
Included with NeuroNode
- NeuroNode wireless and wearable EMG communication device
- NeuroNode Controller software application
- 12-Month supply of clinical-grade adhesive EMG sensors. Different types of sensors are available, depending on your patient’s needs.
- 12-Month 24/7 telepresence technical support
- 24-Month product warranty period, coving the cost and replacement of the NeuroNode device.
Attaching the Sensors
Finding a Working Nerve Signal in Someone Who is Paralyzed
Finding the best site for the NeuroNode is a quick and easy process. The clinician typically works with an expert from Control Bionics, along with the patient and caregiver, to identify which muscles or movement patterns the patient can move voluntarily.
The setup time in therapy is very brief, once a muscle or movement pattern has been identified for use as the switch. If the client is utilizing the NeuroNode’s EMG mode the adhesive or non-adhesive electrodes can quickly be replaced as needed.
The NeuroNode requires very little maintenance.
The NeuroNode can be maintained by either a clinician or a caregiver. Make sure of the following:
- Both the device and the NeuroNode battery are charged.
- The patient has the included adhesive or non-adhesive electrodes if using in EMG mode
- The phone number and email address of Control Bionics are nearby, in case you need support. Most problems can be solved in less than 3 minutes!