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PLoS One. 2019 Jun 28;14(6):e0218393. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218393. eCollection 2019.

Identification of clinically related requirements of a novel assistive device for people with a high spinal cord injury.

Author information

Center of Advanced Technologies in Rehabilitation, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel.
Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.
Neurology, Hippokration Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.
3rd Department of Neurology, University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


People with spinal cord injuries (SCI), and particularly with high level lesions, can potentially lose the ability to effectively operate computers. The Multimedia Authoring and Management using your Eyes and Mind (MAMEM) project aims to design and produce a novel assistive device to support computer use by individuals with SCI and other disabilities. The solution harnesses eye tracking and brain waves, as measured by encephalography (EEG), to manipulate common computer functions. This paper describes the first step in the project, during which we defined clinically related requirements of the assistive device. These definitions were based on data from three sources: (1) a narrative review; (2) a focus group of SCI rehabilitation professionals; and (3) structured questionnaires administrated to potential computer users with SCI, addressing computer-use habits, barriers, and needs. We describe both the collection of data from each source and the clinically related requirements extracted. The novel three-source requirement assessment method is discussed, and the advantages and disadvantages of each data source are reported. In conclusion, we suggest that this approach makes it possible to organize, discuss, and prioritize the requirements, and to create a work program while planning the device. This increases our level of certainty that the efficacy and adequacy of the assistive device will be maximized, in terms of the clinical needs of users.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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