Controlling a computer and a smart phone: solutions for a young adult after a work accident (a case study)

Thematic Area of product / prototype / service: 
Assistive technology for information and communication technology (computer, smart phone)
Company (if applicable): 
University rehabilitation institute Republic of Slovenia Soča
Description of the product/Prototype/service: 
We present a case study of a young right-handed adult (user) after a work accident that caused almost complete injury of right brachial plexus and consequently upper limb and disarticulation in the left elbow. He also had severe phantom limb pain, which influenced performance of many activities. We explored within an interdisciplinary approach the possibilities for controlling a computer and a smart phone (information and communication technology - ICT) with various assistive technology (AT). A multidisciplinary team in clinical environment included a specialist in physical and rehabilitation medicine, an occupational therapist, a certified prosthetist, a physiotherapist, a social worker, a psychologist and an engineer. On the left arm he was fitted with a hybrid prosthesis; on the right arm he used a passive orthosis. Several possibilities were presented to the user and tested by him to establish the most favorable. A standardized occupational test was used to compare the scores with different solutions: using computer/smart phone with alternative computer mouse without AT, with a typing aid and with prosthesis. Appropriate solutions have shown improvement in speed, better posture and duration whilst interacting with ICT with the help of AT. Keywords: computer control, assistive technology, case study
Level of innovation: 
The solutions we tested with the patient are available on the market or individually hand-made by our occupational therapist
Mojca Debeljak, PhD, BScEE, URI Soča (attending); prof. dr. Helena Burger, dr. med., URI Soča (not attending)