What type of attention calling system do you want to activate?
>From what I read in your e-mail, this seems to be a high risk situation. If that is indeed the case, I personally would not feel comfortable with somebody relying on a computer to attract attention under these circumstances. A way around it might be to use an environmental control unit to control the alarm, and the communication aid. I feel I would need a bit more information to be more specific, however, with both Steeper and Possum kit you can enter a "Communication Aid" mode in the environmental control units. So you connect your switch to the EC unit, and then you connect the EC unit to the communication aid. Once in the "Communication Aid" mode, every time the switch is activated, the EC unit sends a switch output to anything that is at the other end, in this case a communication aid. You can come out of this mode either by waiting for a little while (I think 15 to 20 seconds), or by keeping the switch pressed for about 3 seconds.
That would be my first reaction to your question. Let me know if this is helpful at all, or if you would like some more info...
Access to Communication & Technology
Oak Tree Lane Centre
91 Oak Tree Lane
Tel. 0121 627-8235
Fax 0121 627-8892
From: p=NHS NATIONAL INT;a=NHS;c=GB;dda:RFC-822=assistech-request(a)mailbase.ac.uk;
Sent: 10 November 2000 11:43
To: p=NHS NATIONAL INT;a=NHS;c=GB;dda:RFC-822=assistech(a)mailbase.ac.uk;
Subject: Integrating ECS with communication functions
We are looking to set someone up with both an electronic communication aid (incorporating a comprehensive vocabulary) and an environmental control system that includes safety critical functions. The client is only able to use a single switch, so both these devices will need to be integrated somehow.
One of our options is to use one device that would offer both functions, e.g. a Cameleon or Deltatalker etc. However, I'm sure you're all aware of how expensive those are. We have been tempted into looking into the Arti, a new Windows CE based computer that can offer control for a GEWA Prog III in addition to communication aid software from Sensory Software incorporating a comprehensive vocabulary. Of all the similiar options available to us, this one appears to be considerably cheaper.
However, my experience over the years with Sensory Software software has left me quite wary of it, especially since this application requires saftey critical functions. I have occasionally found software such as Windbag and Handsoff to be unstable and conflicting with other resources/software on PCs, which has frequently led to the computers being used either misbehaving or altogether crashing. Now this may not be true of the latest versions of the software (as they all say) or of the Windows CE versions of it.
Does anyone out there (not working for, or promoting, Sensory Software) have experience of using the Arti for either communication or ECS or both? If you do, I'd be very grateful for some feedback from your experience. Thank you.
SYC-HAZ Clinical Engineering Service
Barnsley DGH NHS Trust