NEW – Bionics Queensland Human-Computer Interface Roundtable

By Bionics Queensland Published 19 Aug 2019


A first meeting of the Human Computer Interfaces Group brought a suite of professionals and potential users of human-computer interfaces (HCI) together at Hear and Say in Ashgrove. Future human-computer interfaces (and related devices in development) will transform bionic healthcare.

David Reilly Quadriplegic and patient of D Vernon Hill

Bionic mobility will be vastly improved by brain-machine interfaces and we can expect the renewal of organ function to be increasingly aided by AI-enabled software. However, there are many more treatments and medical situations where a human-computer interface will change lives.

For intubated patients such as those with severe spinal injuries e.g. C1/C2 patients, HCI technologies could significantly change their options for communicating with their doctors and family. Dr Vernon Hill, past director of the spinal injuries unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital asked Bionics Queensland’s to host a first roundtable on the challenges as well as possible future solutions and innovations.

Great interest was shown in Dr Hill’s lingually operated control panel for intubated patients, with possible inclusions of a wearable EMG control device, and optoelectronic diodes as tactile sensors for soft touch applications, and other brain-computer interface technologies including Neuronode.

The desired outcomes of this project are improved insights and potential development of future communication solutions for intubated patients plus technologies to address other communication or mobility needs. Dr Hill’s concept for a lingually operated control panel has many possible applications for speech pathologists. It could be developed to generate artificial speech and alternative language, but could also provide a more effective communication channel for patients with throat cancer and postoperative patients in Intensive Care.


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