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How do people with quadriplegia eat?

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    How do people with quadriplegia eat?

    I´m an industrial design student and am currently working on a device that uses a brain-computer interface to allow people with severe physical disability (cannot use their hands) to cook.

    So my question is, how would the user actually eat a cooked meal? What systems and techniques do people use currently, or if one needs to be invented, how should it work?

    Cheers,

    Pablo

    #2
    cool stuff ....i'm a quad c5/6 and i use a cuff on my hand and a bent fork or spoon to eat biggest prob is wrist action

    Comment


      #3
      Unlike popular misconceptions, most people with tetraplegia (the correct term) can move their shoulders and/or elbows, and many can move their wrists although not their fingers. People with tetraplegia often can feed themselves. Some need special utensils or splints to hold the utensils. Some need to have their food cut up for them, some use extra long straws to drink liquids. Some, with very high injuries, must be fed by a caregiver. While there are some Rube Goldberg type devices designed to feed someone who is dependent, they require a lot of time to set up and don't work very well. It is generally easier and faster for the caregiver to feed the person rather than spend all the time setting them up.

      If you are legitimately an industrial engineer, you need to do a lot more to learn about the needs of the population you claim to want to help. I would strongly suggest you get together with an experienced occupational therapist, and spend some time a your local large rehabilitation center or clinic learning about how people with a wide variety of disabilities both prepare and eat food.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

      Comment


        #4
        If you are expecting your work to be more than just an academic exercise, there is a major consideration. Whatever you design must be affordable if it is to have real world application. As I have often said, technology that is not affordable is only an illusion.
        You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
        http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

        See my personal webpage @
        http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
          If you are expecting your work to be more than just an academic exercise, there is a major consideration. Whatever you design must be affordable if it is to have real world application. As I have often said, technology that is not affordable is only an illusion.
          You're right SCI55. Devices like this would have a very limited user base and probably could not be reasonably priced due to lack of the economies of scale of mass production and demand. Besides....it would be marketed in the medical realm and by definition carry an extraordinary mark up for products (not the same type of product) of a similar cost to make. We all know the drill...if it is for medical purposes the mark up is always astronomical.

          All the best,
          GJ

          Comment


            #6
            who knows

            Thanks for the replies!

            At the moment this is an academic project, it is a relatively simple concept and won´t be brought to production. Naturally, creating a marketable product would be a seriously colaborative effort.

            However, as this area of design really inspires me, this project may derive into a product that is sold in a few years. I was deeply moved by the contact that I´ve had with disabled people and it really inspires me how strong and determined many are to overcome the obstacles no matter how big.

            A preliminary guess is that this product could retail at about $300 - $500, not including the BCI headset. It definately wouldn´t be sold as a medical product, but rather as a kitchen appliance. To achieve economies of scale it would be mass marketed in two versions: one would be a traditional programmable kitchen robot similar to the ones already in the market... the one for disabled would have the same cooking hardware but a different interface.

            An essential part of the product is that it allows the user to taste the food while in preparation, for my preliminary concept I was thinking of a tray that comes out with a sample, and a straw. Then the user could apply whatever method they commonly use to eat (if they are able to do so without assistance). How does this sound?

            Also, have any of you used brain-computer interfaces (BCI) or know of anyone that has? What are your experiences and what have you heard? The one I´ve got my eyes on can be found here and is primarily marketed at the gaming sector.

            Comment


              #7
              did you even listen to sci-nurse? you have to listen. i am c7 quad, no use of fingers. i've been cooking for 25 yrs. you need to specify level of quadriplegia, not generalize. geesh. learn your potential market first.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by cass View Post
                did you even listen to sci-nurse? you have to listen. i am c7 quad, no use of fingers. i've been cooking for 25 yrs. you need to specify level of quadriplegia, not generalize. geesh. learn your potential market first.

                Hi cass

                Unfortunately, at the moment i don't have the access to the potential users that i'd need. Thats why i'm here so please be patient with me for the moment.

                How do you cook with no use of fingers? I'd really appreciate to hear about it.

                Regards

                Pablo

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by grainstorming View Post
                  Hi cass
                  How do you cook with no use of fingers? I'd really appreciate to hear about it.
                  Most people at a C7 injury have a pretty good tenodesis, which they use for grasping even without finger motor control.

                  Learning about things like is exactly why you need to get together with a good OT, most likely through your university, and learn about the differences in functional outcomes with various levels of tetraplegia, as well as other disabilities (CP, MD, ALS, etc.) which may impair a person's ability to cook or feed themselves. You need to actually SEE, in real life, the techniques and adaptive equipment used currently.

                  (KLD)
                  The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cass View Post
                    did you even listen to sci-nurse? you have to listen. i am c7 quad, no use of fingers. i've been cooking for 25 yrs. you need to specify level of quadriplegia, not generalize. geesh. learn your potential market first.
                    Yes, I have been cooking for 50+ years. I use both hands for grasping pans, knives, etc. and buy utensils and tools that best suit my residual function. Food processors help a lot. Having appliances with reachable and useable controls is a must. And for most quads, our mouth/teeth are one of our best grasping tools.
                    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                    See my personal webpage @
                    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                    Comment

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