December 6, 2023

MagTrack Technology Opens Doors for Independent Operation of Smartphones, Computers, and Other Devices for Wheelchair Users

MagTrack Technology Opens Doors for Independent Operation of Smartphones, Computers, and Other Devices for Wheelchair Users

Clinical work commences with MagTrack, a reducing-edge assistive technological innovation that permits ability wheelchair buyers to manage their connected devices and push their electrical power wheelchairs making use of an option, multimodal controller.

Brooks Rehabilitation just lately announced that the MagTrack examine, a collaborative investigate endeavor with the Ga Tech University of Electrical and Laptop or computer Engineering, has been successfully completed. Responses from the Brooks medical staff and its people has authorized Georgia Tech engineers to transform their early analysis prototype into a user-all set version that was examined by more than 17 electric power wheelchair people living with tetraplegia — a type of paralysis induced by spinal wire injury that impacts the arms, fingers, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.

The collaboration involving the Brooks and Georgia Tech groups has designed a route to a first-of-its-variety, modern application for men and women dwelling with disabilities. The groups — comprised of doctors, clinical therapists, and engineers — brought jointly multidisciplinary expertise in sophisticated science, engineering, and clinical rehabilitation.

“We satisfied with the Ga Tech group years ago, when we to start with listened to of the investigation breakthroughs they were being obtaining for wheelchair end users. Brooks is constantly searching for engineering that is useful for our individual population dwelling with spinal cord accidents and mobility impairments. To see where the MagTrack undertaking has innovative even just given that the early phases of this study is amazing,” explained Geneva Tonuzi, medical director of the spinal cord injury plan, the spinal wire personal injury and relevant ailments working day procedure system, and Cyberdyne HAL Remedy at Brooks Rehabilitation.

As a final result of this engineering-clinical collaboration, MagTrack was created as a slicing-edge assistive technological know-how that enables ability wheelchair consumers to control their related products (e.g., smartphone, personal computer) and push their electrical power wheelchairs working with an different, multimodal controller. In addition, the assistive machine is created to be wearable, wi-fi, and adaptable to the user’s distinct problem.

The MagTrack examine is earning the praise of individuals and scientists alike and has been released in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. From the starting, the MagTrack studies have examined the general performance of the Head-Tongue Controller (HTC), an earlier version of the MagTrack know-how, on its means to accomplish sophisticated human-equipment interactions that will improve users’ quality of existence. The MagTrack’s HTC will allow the consumer to execute a wide range of complicated tasks in a single controller via the use of tongue and head movements, which are detected by eyewear and a little tracer that is quickly glued onto the tongue applying Glustitch’s PeryAcryl bio-compatible adhesive. Focus on-certain instructions are produced from these motions working with innovative info processing and equipment finding out designs. This mix of input modalities makes it possible for the consumer to conduct a selection of everyday capabilities with customizable handle, from accomplishing elaborate computer system tasks (e.g., mouse navigation, scrolling, drag-and-fall) to completing superior driving maneuvers when related to a energy wheelchair.

In the most up-to-date research, researchers connected the MagTrack know-how to a single energy wheelchair donated by Quantum Rehab, and recruited 17 affected individual volunteers from Brooks Rehabilitation to take a look at the performance and usability of the machine by finishing a set of both of those easy and state-of-the-art driving duties. Final results showed that new customers of MagTrack can comprehensive these jobs as quick, and from time to time even faster, with the MagTrack’s HTC relatively than their individual, alternative controller. Due to the fact the analyze session lasted less than 3 hours — and in a energy wheelchair that was not their possess — it is expected that contributors would be more proficient, and as a result complete better with MagTrack, if they had been provided more time to familiarize themselves with its multimodal abilities and making use of their possess power wheelchair.

“Doing work with all of the contributors has been really rewarding,” explained Jesse Milliken, speech-language pathologist in the spinal cord injuries program at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital. “Each affected individual who arrived in was somebody who has been straight affected by a spinal cord damage and who can genuinely gain from this technology. It was remarkable to see how their faces lit up when they noticed they have been equipped to command their wheelchair with this sort of ease and comfort and ease. They all reported they can see this bettering their day-to-working day life if it had been offered to them. It’s been these kinds of an honor to be a section of this method and see the perform and thought approach guiding these types of highly developed engineering.” Sufferers from the Brooks spinal wire personal injury software who have participated in stage three of the research contact the improvement “exciting” and a “great technique that can be utilised for so many issues.” Following encountering the technologies by themselves, they feel it will “touch the life of these who are equipped to use it.”

To day, the head array and sip-and-puff are the most widespread different controllers advisable by bodily therapists to men and women living with tetraplegia, whilst specialized switches and joystick technology are offered for these with mobility in their upper extremities. These systems were being made a lot of decades back for the primary need of controlling a ability wheelchair. Considering the fact that then, a deficiency of innovation in this industry has hindered these assistive systems from adapting to today’s technologies. Additionally, they are affixed to the wheelchair, which gets to be inaccessible after the user is transferred to a bed, a couch, or any site absent from the wheelchair. Thus, there is a growing need for this inhabitants to have accessibility to new, substitute controllers that will allow them to be active members of an interconnected digital globe.

“The trajectory of the MagTrack review displays an unparalleled probability for the progression of impartial perform as nicely as mobility for electric wheelchair consumers. Our team and companions are energized and motivated by the modern individual trials to carry on to drive this engineering and its abilities as significantly as probable. This know-how can noticeably make improvements to people’s lives. We will carry on to function to see these advances in assistive know-how occur to daily life,” claimed Georgia Tech’s Omer T. Inan, director of the Inan Research Lab, Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Chair in Bioscience and Bioengineering, affiliate professor in the College of Electrical and Laptop or computer Engineering, and adjunct affiliate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Section of Biomedical Engineering.

“MagTrack is an ground breaking assistive technological innovation aimed for individuals residing with actual physical paralysis to have obtain to a lot more elaborate human-device interactions, which will facilitate the management of extra devices in their daily lifetime that they are unable to effortlessly use if not,” explained Nordine Sebkhi, postdoctoral researcher at the Inan Study Lab in the School of Electrical and Computer system Engineering. “The enhancement of our wearable alternate controller eliminates the want for owning a number of assistive technologies, changing them with a single multimodal and built-in program.” Sebkhi is the co-creator of MagTrack and the technological lead in the enhancement of this assistive technology.

As a end result of these reports, MagTrack has been refined to give a entirely built-in, all-in-1 experience so that a user can seamlessly change in between driving their wheelchair and controlling linked units in their environment (e.g., smartphone, computer, automatic door opener, clever Tv set). The system can be utilised any where given that it is wearable, and its crafted-in wireless connectivity facilitates portability.

The staff at Ga Tech is presently operating on a new version of MagTrack that is not only much more inconspicuous, but also includes detection of facial gestures that substantially augments its handle abilities. Thanks to a grant from the Ga Research Alliance, this new edition of MagTrack will be analyzed in a aim group at the Shepherd Heart and in simulated testing in a dwelling-like ecosystem. In the coming calendar year, the team plans to make MagTrack readily available to early adopters for at-residence validation tests to even more improve the technological know-how just before pursuing commercialization.

This thriving research is only a get started given that, at its main, MagTrack is a new style of human body motion tracking. The Ga Tech staff is functioning on numerous models of MagTrack to be utilised as a wearable articulograph for motor speech issues, as a hand and joint tracking process for physical rehabilitation, and even as a finger tracking for VR/AR programs. The MagTrack group will be partnering with the World Centre for Healthcare Innovation to help in regulatory technique and undertaking organizing to transition the technologies from the lab to the market place.


Specific many thanks and recognition go to all team users included in this groundbreaking examine, like but not limited to:

Nordine Sebkhi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Inan Investigate Lab, College of Electrical and Computer system Engineering, Georgia Tech

Arpan Bhavsar, M.S., Research Engineer, Inan Exploration Lab, Faculty of Electrical and Personal computer Engineering, Georgia Tech

Nazmus Sahadat, Ph.D., Utilized Scientist, Amazon

David V. Anderson, Ph.D., Professor, College of Electrical and Laptop Engineering, Georgia Tech

Omer T. Inan, Ph.D., Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Chair in Bioscience and Bioengineering, Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Laptop Engineering, Adjunct Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Inan Analysis Lab

Geneva Tonuzi, M.D., Health care Director, Spinal Wire Injuries Application and Spinal Twine Damage / Problems Day Remedy Program, Health-related Director, Brooks Cyberdyne HAL Treatment

Erica Walling MPT, ATP/SMS, Wheelchair Clinic Manager, Brooks Rehabilitation

Jesse Milliken, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Spinal Twine Personal injury System, Brooks Rehabilitation

Raine Osborne, PT, DPT, EdD, FAAOMPT, Director of Investigate, Brooks Rehabilitation