Avaler's Adventure: A Game Suite to Aid Patients with Dysphagia
Chemical and Materials Engineering
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Although generally overlooked as a normal bodily function, the ability to swallow is quite important for the human experience; it enables eating, drinking, and salivating. However, there are people whose ability to swallow is impeded, a condition known as dysphagia. During speech therapy, patients complete exercises designed to train and strengthen muscles and tendons. Software visually reports feedback received from electrical signals from a sensor attached to the patient’s throat. The feedback triggers actions in therapy games, thus providing a visual representation of progress understood by both the patient and the speech pathologist. We created a modern game suite that is well suited for various patient demographics. We hope to observe improved therapy experiences for both the patient and the speech pathologist with the game suite. By introducing a motivational factor into therapy exercises, we hope to improve patient swallowing abilities.