Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 3, 2014
   Pages 451 — 466

Abstract — Qualitative assessment of Tongue Drive System by people with high-level spinal cord injury

Jeonghee Kim, MS;1 Hangue Park, MS;1 Joy Bruce, MSPT, PhD;2 Diane Rowles, MS, NP;3 Jaimee Holbrook, MD;4 Beatrice Nardone, MD, PhD;4 Dennis P. West, PhD;4 Anne E. Laumann, MBChB, MRCP (UK);4–5 Elliot Roth, MD;3,5 Emir Veledar, PhD;6 Maysam Ghovanloo, PhD1*

1GT Bionics Laboratory, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA; 2Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA; Departments of 3Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and 4Dermatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; 5Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; 6School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; and Baptist Health South Florida, Miami, FL

Abstract — The Tongue Drive System (TDS) is a minimally invasive, wireless, and wearable assistive technology (AT) that enables people with severe disabilities to control their environments using tongue motion. TDS translates specific tongue gestures into commands by sensing the magnetic field created by a small magnetic tracer applied to the user’s tongue. We have previously quantitatively evaluated the TDS for accessing computers and powered wheelchairs, demonstrating its usability. In this study, we focused on its qualitative evaluation by people with high-level spinal cord injury who each received a magnetic tongue piercing and used the TDS for 6 wk. We used two questionnaires, an after-scenario and a poststudy, designed to evaluate the tongue-piercing experience and the TDS usability compared with that of the sip-and-puff and the users’ current ATs. After study completion, 73% of the participants were positive about keeping the magnetic tongue-barbell in order to use the TDS. All were satisfied with the TDS performance and most said that they were able to do more things using TDS than their current ATs (4.22/5).

Key words: assistive technologies, computer access, magnetic tongue piercing, qualitative analysis, questionnaire, rehabilitation, spinal cord injury, tetraplegia, tongue drive, wheelchair navigation.

View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.3
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Kim J, Park H, Bruce J, Rowles D, Holbrook J, Nardone B, West DP, Laumann AE, Roth E, Veledar E, Ghovanloo M. Qualitative assessment of Tongue Drive System by people with high-level spinal cord injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(3):451–66.
ResearcherID/ORCID: Maysam Ghovanloo, PhD: D-8343-2014

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