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Lack of access to communication for hospital patients with disabilities causes a reduction in the overall effectiveness of care and places a financial burden on the healthcare industry. Some solutions exist to address these communication issues for individuals with special needs, but these solutions are unreliable and even entirely ineffective in some cases. In conjunction with NC State University and WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, NC, we set out to develop a method of communication that is both reliable and effective for all hospital patients, regardless of disability. Using electromyography, we developed a novel, wireless communication device that can better serve the needs of both patients and their caregivers. While more refinement is needed to commercialize the product we have named ‘PatientLink’, evaluation of prototype devices have demonstrated the capability to allow simple communication using the raise of an eyebrow.

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