Some patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a spinal cord injury (SCI) lose the ability to operate a computer via traditional methods (mouse and keyboard) or common alternative methods (voice control). The inability to move or speak makes it extremely difficult to communicate. Currently patients must rely on blinking yes or no to a series of questions that the caretaker asks in order to communicate their wants and needs. This system relies on the caretaker anticipating the patient’s needs in a timely manner which is not ideal. The purpose of this Senior Capstone Design project is to develop an eye tracking system to allow TBI and SCI patients to operate a computer exclusively using eye movements. Occupational Therapists at Craig Hospital, a recognized leader in TBI and SCI patient care, have provided the design team with access to a focus group of patients and insight into the needs and constraints of their patient population. With the ability to operate a computer, the patient will have the ability to more fully engage in communication by typing words on a screen for their caretakers to read and in a broader sense: e-mail and instant message family and friends as well as engage in social networking sites. The ability to control a computer allows for choices in entertainment from music to television to newspapers and magazines.

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