Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Wearable Device Helps Parkinson’s Patients Communicate

A new medical device developed by a speech-language researcher at Purdue University is helping patients with Parkinson's communicate better. The device is named SpeechVive and it uses a reflex to give the user louder and clearer speech. 

 

SpeechVive, created by Jessica Huber, a professor in Purdue’s Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, uses a reflex to improve communication in Parkinson’s disease
SpeechVive, created by Jessica Huber, a professor in Purdue’s Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, uses a reflex to improve communication in Parkinson’s disease. Credit: Purdue University

“Since the wearable device elicits a reflex, the patient does not need to remember to use therapy techniques to communicate in everyday life,” says Jessica Huber, developer of the device and professor at Purdue University. “When people with Parkinson’s disease cannot be heard or understood, they withdraw from communication exchanges, leading to social isolation. This device makes it possible for patients to continue to communicate with their loved ones well into their disease.”

 

From the Purdue University article: "SpeechVive uses a reflex to improve communication. The device plays noise in a user’s ear when they are talking, which elicits the reflex, resulting in speech that is automatically louder, clearer and lower. 

SpeechVive Inc. commercialized the Purdue device to help the more than 1 million people in the United States who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, one of the most common degenerative neurological diseases. Veterans can receive the device through their local VA hospital as a part of their health care benefits."

 

Read more about the medical device that helps Parkinson's patients communicate at Purdue University


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