By Dexter Ang
Co-founder & CEO, Pison Technology
Watching my mother struggle to interact with the world as her ALS progressed was extremely difficult for our family, and for me personally. Her struggle inspired me to find solutions that could help people like my mother better interact with computers and their environment, even after they have lost almost all of their ability to move. I had the motivation to advance technology in a way that would bring a new quality of life to people living with ALS under Steve Saling’s motto that until medicine proves otherwise, technology is the cure.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Ice Bucket Challenge, funds were made available to my company when we won The ALS Association’s Assistive Technology Challenge in 2016. These funds were used to launch my company, Pison Technology, and take my ideas for assistive technology from concept into development. I am grateful every day for the millions of people who participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge and created a whole new environment for those of us working to empower people living with ALS to live more fulfilling lives.
Pison technology is able sense nerve-signals of people with ALS and translate those signals into computer commands, such as a mouse-click. Our technology seizes on any remaining movement in people suffering from ALS, meaning that people who have little or no mobility can still control their computers and interact with their environment. We continue to test means to personalize the technology, and our work has demonstrated exciting results, so exciting that Pison Technology has received investments from National Science Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services to further develop our assistive technology for patients with neuromuscular diseases.
Until dedicated medical researchers find a cure, it’s critically important to people with ALS that we adapt technology to accommodate the physical functions that the disease takes away. Communication is essential to our existence and our connections with others, whether it’s expressing a want or a need, or just telling someone you love them.
The Challenge Me campaign picks up where the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge left off. This time, the ALS community is challenging everyone to do anything and everything they can to cure ALS. Click here to learn more.