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Assessment of a novel, smartglass-based control device for electrically powered wheelchairs.

Authors
  • Penkert, Horst1
  • Baron, Julius C2
  • Madaus, Konstantin2
  • Huber, Wolfgang3
  • Berthele, Achim1
  • 1 Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, München, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 Munevo GmbH, München, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, München, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
Volume
16
Issue
2
Pages
172–176
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2019.1646817
PMID: 31381862
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

A variety of conditions can lead to reduced ambulation and the need of an electrically powered wheelchair (EPW). Some people are limited in their ability to use any of the available control devices for EPWs. To assess safety and maneuverability of a new smartglass-based head control device (Munevo DRIVE©). Participants drove four indoor test courses with their own control device (or with a hand joystick in case of pedestrians) and with the new smartglass control device. A penalty was added for every driving error and the time of the best attempt was compared between control devices. Minimal driving errors were measured as a secondary outcome. In addition, participants filled in questionnaires to assess their subjective impressions. Nine EPW users and five non-disabled persons were tested in this single center pilot trial. As anticipated, participants were slower using the smartglass-based control device (in median 25.0%). Notably though, the minimal amount of driving errors was equal between groups. One adverse event occurred (collision with consecutive swelling of the ankle). Smartglass control enables safe maneuverability for people with various diseases.Implications for rehabilitationMunevo DRIVE© is a novel, smartglass-based, head control device for electrically powered wheelchairs.Smartglass control is slower as hand joystick control but enables safe maneuverability.Smartglass control is an alternative for people with impaired or lost upper limb function, for example, those currently using chin joysticks or similar devices.

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