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The Eyegaze System Evaluating the benefits of an eye-operated communication and control system that empowers severely disabled spinal cord injury patients to communicate and interact with the world around them. Led by Dr Fiona Watkins, this study aims to evaluate how Eye Gaze Systems improve communication, perceptions of independence and quality of life during the early phases of rehabilitation. An eyegaze system is an eye-operated computer system with an inbuilt camera which tracks where users’ eyes are looking, enabling them to move the mouse pointer around the screen with their eyes. This technique empowers severely disabled SCI patients to communicate and interact with the world around them, using the organs they can still move – the eyes. Like the Exoskeleton study, this study is currently ongoing at the National Spinal Injuries Centre and will give researchers important information which is necessary for the preparations of a bigger, multi- centre study. This project is supported by Tobii Technology AB, based in Sweden. Dr Watkins is closely collaborating with speech and occupational therapists based at the National Spinal Injuries Centre. Generous donations for the purchase of Eyegaze Systems have been received from M&G Investments and the AMMCO Trust. The investigators expect the study to finish in Q1 2014. Study protocol details are accessible on ClinicalTrials.gov.
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