- Infrared Sensing: Use of light transmission
- Electromyography: Using body movements such as facial expressions
- Oculography: Eye movements used similarly to a cursor
- Electroencephalography: Using brain signals
This list is by no means exhaustive but gives insight into the range of technological advances for people living with ALS/MND. The multidisciplinary healthcare team can be considered a resource for navigating certain technologies and finding an option that best suits individuals based on their needs.
Technology in the form of telehealth can also benefit individuals with ALS/MND. Telehealth allows for people with ALS/MND to have access to healthcare in a virtual format. This can reduce the stress and work of physical, face-to-face appointments and allow appointments to be made more easily. They may also increase accessibility for people living with ALS/MND who live in rural areas or areas where accessible public transportation is limited. Telehealth advancements are an ongoing development and are constantly being improved.
Numerous apps and at-home-technologies are available that allow people living with ALS/MND to test, track, document, and upload various aspects of their health. These apps can help people living with ALS/MND with many aspects of their lives. The use of this technology has also made for advancements in telehealth and telemedicine in which technology is used for ongoing disease progression assessments and documentation for people living with ALS/MND. These have allowed healthcare professionals to safely monitor their patients’ disease progression and can improve communication between healthcare professionals, carers, and people living with ALS/MND.
Clinical trials have also been able to make use of technology for similar purposes. This has allowed for ongoing care for people living with ALS/MND, in some cases has increased healthcare access for individuals, and also greater enrollment for clinical trials.
In addition, as new technology arises, it becomes abundantly clear that there are also barriers for certain individuals. Costs and financing for technological programs can create a divide. Age and adjustments to using technology can also prevent people living with ALS/MND from accessing or benefitting from certain advances. Discussions with the multidisciplinary healthcare team can provide more information on training for technological devices, insurance coverage in certain regions. They can also answer any other questions individuals may have.
For more information on technology, refer to the resources provided below.
Click on the icon below to visit our playlist of videos related to Technology.
The following are resources from Members of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations on the topic of Technology.
Free or Low Cost Apps
The MND Association (MNDA) has gathered a list of various apps available to people living with ALS/MND. Various apps for topics such as health, appointments, nutrition, and communication are provided.
Subject Areas: Technology, Apps, For People with ALS/MND, For Caregivers, For Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team
The ALS Liga Belgium provides a list of different software applications that can make technology and everyday tasks more accessible for people living with ALS/MND. These include speech and communication and computer use.
Language: French, German, English, Dutch
Subject Areas: Technology, Software, For People with ALS/MND, For Caregivers, For Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team
Smart Home Technology and ALS
This is a blog post written and posted by the ALS Association (ALSA). In this blog, Smart Home technologies are discussed pertaining to aids for people living with ALS/MND.
Subject Area: Technology, For People with ALS/MND, For Caregivers
Telehealth, ALS/MND, and COVID-19
This is a podcast by Connecting ALS produced by the ALS Association (ALSA). This podcast discusses the advances in telehealth, the benefits of telehealth, and concerns and issues for people with ALS/MND and access to telehealth. Note that this resource is concerning advancements in telehealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any views or opinions presented in this podcast are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent those of The ALS Association.
Subject Area: Telehealth and Telemedicine, Technology, For Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team, For People with ALS/MND, For Caregivers
How Telemedicine is Intergrating into ALS Multidisciplinary Care
In this interview report with Dr. James Berry, provided by the ALS Association (ALSA), telemedicine is discussed. Dr. James Berry explains the benefits and uses for telemedicine and also discusses the ALS Clinic Telemedicine for People living with ALS.
Subject Area: Telehealth and Telemedicine, Technology, For Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team For People with ALS/MND, For Caregivers
Developing Technologies to Help People with ALS Live Better Lives
The ALS Association (ALSA) provides a blog post that outlines different technological advancements that are a part of the Managing ALS Research Program. A link within the blog leads to a podcast by Connecting ALS (produced by ALSA) that discusses technologies for people living with ALS/MND in more detail.
Subject Area: Technology, Research, For People with ALS/MND, For Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team
ALS Assistive Technology Blog
Alisa Brownlee, ATP, CAPS’ blog offers recent articles and web information on ALS, assistive technology, augmentative alternative communication (AAC), computer access, and other electronic devices that can impact and improve the quality of life for people with ALS. Email email@example.com. Any views or opinions presented on this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The ALS Association.