Occupational Therapist, Werner Wicker Klinik, Centre for Spinal Cord Injuries
What is your occupation?
I am a mechanical engineer and occupational therapist.
What do you use TubusOne™ for?
I use TubusOne™ within my work as an occupational therapist with tetraplegic patients at the Werner Wicker Klinik.
How would you describe TubusOne™?
TubusOne™ is the intuitive replacement for an index finger that can operate a tablet or smartphone. It is held loosely in the mouth and it is easy to move to the right place without much head movement needed. Tongue motor skills play a major role in moving this “finger”, and the tongue is ideally suited for this. Tapping the tablet / smartphone is done intuitively by sucking and blowing. The required air volume is so small that the pressure build-up and release can be achieved purely via the mouth volume and mouth motor activity; the lung function is not required for this.
Have you tried similar instruments, software or communication devices?
We use a variety of different assistive devices at the clinic. It depends on the individual patients needs what device is suitable and helpful to that person and it is my job to assist my patients in finding the right devices.
Some may think that your patients have worse things to worry about than privacy on smartphones and tablets. How is it that "freedom" on the internet is so important to you?
With a high level of paraplegia, which means that almost all movement possibilities are missing, in the end all that is left is the mouth, mouth motor activity, blowing and sucking and at least partial head mobility for almost everything that can be done self-effectively. The tablet and smartphone as a universal interfaces to the world, which take up very little space and can therefore be carried everywhere, are almost indispensable for this.
What would you like to say to those who are considering buying TubusOne™?
That there is almost no risk in the sense of a misuse. It is easy to check in advance whether there are any serious restrictions in handling. The benefit is very large without a special training period. TubusOne™ is also a very useful singular supplement to another, already existing technology, to control a PC.
What do you particularly like about TubusOne™?
TubusOne™ is so light that an individual adjustment of the mouthpiece is not necessary. Moreover, TubusOne™ can be completely and easily disassembled and reassembled for cleaning and maintenance.
What would you improve on TubusOne™ if you could?
One time the small ball of one of our TubusOne™ dropped off the thin rod. I would improve the bonding so that this could not happen at all.
And I would try to design the mouthpiece so that it would be a real "flatterer" in the mouth.