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Israeli tech offers communication solutions for patients with severe ALS disease

An EyeControl device being applied to a patient. (Photo: EyeControl)

Israel's medical tech company EyeControl has developed innovative solutions to address the communication and personal needs of ALS patients.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a severe, chronic disease that undermines nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. A patient's condition gradually deteriorates and severely impacts his or her ability to speak, move, breathe and eat due to loss of muscle control.

EyeControl's wearable device even makes it possible for patients on ventilators to communicate with their family members and medical staff through eye gestures and a bone conduction headset.

In addition, the revolutionary medical technology enhances the life quality of severely ill patients by making it possible for them to hear recorded messages from loved ones and listen to their favorite music. The overall purpose of EyeControl’s revolutionary solutions is to enhance the human experience and prevent cognitive decline among patients.

EyeControl's products have enhanced also enhanced the lives of Israel's soldiers during war time.

Michal Finkelstein, a trained speech and language expert and product specialist at EyeControl, recalled how the company was able to help Yoav Tzivoni, an IDF combat soldier who was severely injured during a battle in Gaza. Tzivoni only woke up after six months of treatment in an intensive care unit at the Assuta Ashdod University Hospital.

“I was shaking from excitement when the nurse texted and said Yoav is asking for his music!” Finkelstein said.

Tzvika Lavi, a religiously observant IDF soldier who has since died from his injuries during the war, also benefited EyeControl's innovative solutions, making it possible for his wife and children to communicate with the while he was treated at the hospital.

“When his wife, an occupational therapist, learned about the device, she said, ‘Yalla, let’s go!’ She and the girls had already recorded messages to go on to the device. His wife told me that Tzvika was very religious. She told me it calmed her down to know that, even on Shabbat, he could listen to her voice and the voice of his kids and parents. I almost started to cry...” Finkelstein recalled.

Dr. Ami Mayo, who heads the critical care unit at Assuta Hospital, stressed the advantages of this medical technology in bringing quality of life,

“In critical care, we have obstacles in communicating with patients,” Mayo explained, adding that he hopes use of EyeControl's products will continue to expand globally because "disorientation and inability to communicate can lead to delirium and post-ICU post-traumatic stress disorder and would like to see is that every patient in the ICU will get this device, he assessed.

Despite its small size, Israel has emerged as a leading player in medical technology and global healthcare.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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