Northwestern University engineering professor John A. Rogers has developed a wireless and stretchable wearable that’s placed on patients’ throats to monitor their speech and swallow patterns.
Rogers designed the technology as a way for people recovering from stroke—and their rehabilitation team—to see data in real time, even after they go home. The sensors measure vocal-cord vibrations and can monitor speech patterns without the interference of ambient noise.
According to an article on Northwestern Now, Rogers worked with researchers at Chicago’s Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to develop the sensors, which are among numerous wearables the engineer has designed. Like the others, these sensors provide detailed data directly to a smartphone or tablet. The data get sent to the wearer’s health care team as well as the wearer, for instant feedback on how rehabilitation is progressing.
SLP Leora Cherney—scientific chair of the Think + Speak Lab at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a Northwestern professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and communication sciences and disorders—is optimistic about the use of these sensors once the patient returns home.
“Talking with friends and family at home is a completely different dimension from what we do in therapy,” Cherney says in the article. “Having a detailed understanding of patients’ communication habits outside of the clinic helps us develop better strategies with our patients to improve their speaking skills and speed up their recovery process.”
More on aphasia treatment:
Bilingual clients with aphasia need clinicians to incorporate individually tailored bilingualism principles into rehabilitation.
Incorporating performances into treatment for aphasia helps participants relearn speech through the arts.
Shelley D. Hutchins is content producer and editor for the ASHA Leader. firstname.lastname@example.org