Eye Gaze technology helps children look to the future

Categories: Care.

And the star of the show was the Eye Gaze: a device that works by tracking the movement of the user’s eye, meaning that all children – whatever their disability or illness – will have access to the power of technology.

Demelza is one of the first children’s hospices to be provided with an Eye Gaze and Lifelites have commenced a three-month pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of the technology.

CEO of Lifelites, Simone Enefor-Doy spoke to ehospice at the launch event. She said: “Eye Gaze is a new thing for Lifelites and children in hospices are a very specialist audience. Now we know – or we think we know – that it is a particularly good thing for children in hospices but we need to be able to test it out.

“During the pilot we are collating all the information that comes back from the care staff. We are going to put all of that information together in two or three months time, and we are going be able to use that to tell other hospice care staff how to best use the Eye Gaze with the children that they care for. So it is a very important project for us.”

Lifelites projects provide specialist technology for all 49 of the baby and children’s hospice in the British Isles and Demelza have benefited from a package of technology worth around £37,500 over four years.

The package also includes state-of-the-art touchscreen technology, the latest gaming consoles and specially adapted iPads has been designed with disabled children in mind.

Lifelites will provide a responsive IT helpline and technical support team for the duration of the package and the technology will be updated over the course of the four year gift.

Liz Haigh-Reeve, Director of Income Generation at the hospice, said: “We are so grateful to Lifelites and Thomas Cook Children’s Charity for providing the latest technology for the young people who use Demelza. This technology not only enables the children to enjoy the games and entertainment systems but also to communicate with their friends and family and even other children who face similar challenges.

“When so much in their lives is different to their peers, technology empowers them to do the things all children and young people enjoy. The portable aspect of the iPads means that DVDs and games can be brought to a child if they are too sick to leave their room. The Lifelites project will make such a difference.”

ehospice visited Demelza to see children at the hospice try out the technology for the first time. You can view a short film on the ehospice news YouTube channel.

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