Paralyzed man Shuns $20k Medicare Device in Favor of a $200 Device Invented by his son

Share Article - A Pennsylvania man develops a low cost communication device as an alternative to the Medicare approved $20,000 device. The newly developed device allows his father and any other disabled person to communicate even if all they have left to communicate with is their eyes.

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According to a recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, thousands of Americans are newly diagnosed with immobilizing diseases such as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Thanks to new technology created by local developer, Devon Greco, not only has his father’s ability to communicate been restored, he no longer has need for a specialized $20,000 computer.

“The muscular paralysis of Lou Gehrig’s disease left my father with only the ability to communicate through eye movement using a $20,000 Medicare approved, computer controlled device. I knew it was time to bring my device called BLiNK to the mainstream,” Greco said, before adding, “BLiNK is a wireless, clip-on, lightweight, and portable device that allows you to communicate and use your eyes to use your computer or tablet without a keyboard, mouse, or touch-screen.”

Greco explained that BLiNK is essentially a wearable computer mouse that the user controls with eye gaze.

Greco was inspired as he watched his father suffer from the effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease. His father, who taught him how to develop technology and devices, deteriorated to the point he could no longer communicate. Greco decided to develop a solution to help people across the globes, who have no ability to communicate with their loved ones using a $200 device rather than the $20,000 Medicare alternative.

Communication was impossible and my father could not tell anyone what he needed,” Greco recalled. “My mother became really good at lip reading but I could never pick it up. He had always been very computer proficient but was no longer able to hold or operate one. It became my mission to find or create a technology to help him control his own computer; to be able to type messages to speak, write emails, and control his environment like the lights, temperature, and television.”

“The commercial systems currently available were unreachable in terms of cost to most people in need,” Greco stressed. “It did not take long for us to conclude that there had to be a better way, and now there is: BLiNK.”

BLiNK, according to Greco, has been developed for the Windows platform, and works with the latest laptops, desktops, and tablets. BLiNK is a one of a kind wireless eyewear that contains a tiny camera and a special invisible light that tracks where your eyes are looking. When linked to a computer, eye movement takes the place of your keyboard and mouse. All for around $200.

Greco said “The eye tracker will work with almost all Windows programs and is compatible with Facebook, Word, Youtube, texting and surfing the web. Currently I’m working with a number of companies interested in commercial applications in marketing, web design and sports, but my passion is for people like my father.”

As to why anyone, in addition to his father, should consider trying BLiNK instead of the $20,000 Medicare approved device, Greco said, “Millions of severely disabled people worldwide could greatly benefit from an affordable ($200) eye tracker.”

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Dan Lim
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