ALS Software Program, “For Free, Always”

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Sophia Sabini-Leite

ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s, is a progressive illness that affects the nerve cells responsible for signaling muscles and movement. ALS usually affects those between the ages of 40 to 70 years.

In the past few years, great improvements have occurred to better the condition. Although no cure, reversal, or way to halt the disease has been found, but there is an FDA approved drug that helps to sl

ow down the progression, as well as various different ways to make the patient’s life more comfortable.

Not very happy with the softwares on the market, Julius Sweetland, a software developer in London, took matters into his own hands. He created a free downloadable software, OptiKey, that allows people with ALS or other impairments to type and speak without using their hands or voice.

In a short video, Sweetland demonstrated the ability of his software program and how with just a $100 eye-tracker and his software, it can be a great and cheap alternative to the expensive competition on the marker.

Although the program is not available in every language, Sweetland is collaborating with various hospitals that specialize in neurology, to not only improve his software but receive feedback on his invention.

For now, as said by Sweetland, his technology will remain “For Free, Always”.