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Approachable website with possible solutions when you suddenly can't talk anymore


There you are in the hospital with a tube down your throat and suddenly you can't speak, can't say what you need. It happened to many patients in the intensive care unit in recent years. Modem, the expert network for assistive technology at Thomas More college, developed a free website to solve that problem: This project was realized with the support of the Solidarity Care Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.

Not communicating is dangerous

Being able to express what you think and feel is important. Not only because humans are social beings, but also to ensure safety. When a person cannot say anything, he or she is an easy victim. "You can't say you're cold or that the needle in your arm hurts. So that's why it's very important that after a car accident, stroke or corona, a person is immediately given the option to communicate with those around him or her in a different way," said Kirsten Denis, a speech therapist at Modem.

Easy to use, cheap and immediately usable

On the website there are a lot of communication tools that you can use quickly. By means of a filter with questions about the condition of the person who needs help, visitors end up with the methods that can offer them a solution. “ For example, a sign and a marker are also in between, but someone with both arms in a cast can do little with it. Most options on the site are simple, cheap and quick to use. For example, when a patient can suddenly no longer speak, a nurse can quickly print a map with icons. Will the communication restriction become permanent? Then you can contact Modem and we will look for a tailor-made solution together, "says Kirsten Denis.

One working muscle is sufficient

Even those who can no longer see or hear, or are paralyzed, can still communicate when you use the right tools. “ For example, you can point to letters, icons or photos and not only with your finger, but also with your toes, your eyes or even with just one muscle. Nevertheless, the knowledge of caregivers about what is possible is still very low ”, says Kirsten Denis. That is why the website is designed in such a way that you can use it without prior knowledge. In this way, emergency departments in hospitals can also easily consult the website.

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