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Eye-controlled, power wheelchair performs well for ALS patients.
Muscle & nerve
  • Michael Elliott, Swedish Neuroscience Institute
  • Henrique Malvar
  • Lindsey L Maassel, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • Jon Campbell
  • Harish Kulkarni
  • Irina Spiridonova
  • Noelle Sophy
  • Jay Beavers
  • Ann Paradiso
  • Chuck Needham
  • Jamie Rifley
  • Maggie Duffield
  • Jeremy Crawford
  • Becky Wood, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • Emily J Cox, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center
  • James M Scanlan, Swedish Center for Research and Innovation, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Document Type
Publication Date

BACKGROUND: Our pilot study tested the feasibility and performance of an eye-controlled power wheelchair for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients.

METHODS: In this prospective pilot study, participants drove the wheelchair three times around an indoor course. We assessed the time to complete the course; starting and stopping on command; turning 90, 135, and 180 degrees; time to backup; and obstacle negotiation. Following their use of the wheelchair, subjects were given a questionnaire to assess user experience.

RESULTS: Twelve patients participated, and all were able to complete three trials without difficulty. Eight participants completed all of the individual tasks (eg, turning, stopping, etc.) without any errors. Overall performance ratings were high across all participants (4.6/5-excellent).

CONCLUSIONS: Our eye-controlled power wheelchair prototype is feasible and has a very favorable user experience. This system has the potential to improve the mobility and independence of ALS patients, and other groups with motor impairments.

Clinical Institute
Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)
Citation Information
Michael Elliott, Henrique Malvar, Lindsey L Maassel, Jon Campbell, et al.. "Eye-controlled, power wheelchair performs well for ALS patients." Muscle & nerve (2019)
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