Eye tracking drives innovation in healthcare: PRC-Saltillo use case
by Amanda Bentley
Part three in a series of articles showcasing some of the inventive ways our partners and customers are using eye tracking in healthcare applications.
For nearly two decades, Tobii has been embedding eye tracking in assistive-technology devices that provide a means of communication for people with speech and movement disabilities. Enhancing such devices with eye tracking is a natural fit, because this technology translates thoughts and eye movements into audible words, helping to raise independence for the people who rely on them. In addition to our assistive division, Tobii Dynavox, we also support another leader in the AAC market — PRC-Saltillo.
Founded in 1966, PRC-Saltillo is a US company on a mission to help people with speech and language impairments to communicate with the people around them and interact with their environment. Their product line includes head tracking devices, eye tracking systems, keyguards and touch guides (for easy access to on-screen icons), as well as joystick controls, alternative mouse solutions, and series of switches.
Over 50 years ago, PRC-Saltillo began their exploration on a discarded Teletype machine. Today, they are one of the leaders in the development of speech-generating devices (SGDs).
Eye tracking provides a voice
Based on the Tobii IS platform, PRC-Saltillo’s Look™ device can be fully controlled without the need for a person or a child to use their hands. The robust eye tracker provides freedom of movement, allowing the owner to operate the device from different positions. With almost instantaneous gaze recovery when the person looks away from the device and then back again — to make communication and control as seamless and continuous as possible.
Tobii worked with PRC-Saltillo to provide users with the best calibration, to ensure that the Look™ device works across the widest possible range of the population. The device includes adjustments for speed of cursor movement, stability, dwell selection, and timing — allowing more accurate control and better communication for individuals with progressive neurological diseases. Naturally, the device works for people wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Enabling more innovations in medical technology
In January of 2019, PRC-Saltillo announced Tobii as the supplier of the Look eye tracking module for their Accent® line of speech-generating devices. PRC-Saltillo chose Tobii’s IS platform, which is also used in AAC devices from Tobii Dynavox since 2016 (the PCEye and Tobii Dynavox I-Series Speech Generating Device).
PRC-Saltillo chose the Tobii IS eye tracking platform because of its applicability to a variety of applications, including medical devices and general assistive technology.
Tobii’s eye tracking technology has helped PRC-Saltillo continue to fulfill its mission to offer the best possible AAC solutions to its clients, users, and customers.
Director of sales and business development at Tobii
As the director of sales and business development for Tobii, I get to help customers integrate eye tracking in their devices and solutions — primarily in the healthcare sector. Personally, I enjoy acting as the bridge between technology and sales, to make sure that customers get what they need, and at the same time ensure that our technology is always the leader in eye tracking.
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