NeuroNode: Wearable Assistive Technology by Nordic

Nordic Semiconductor’s Control Bionics, a Milford (Cincinnati) Ohio-based Developer of wearable electromyography (EMG) devices, has stated Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth, Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) in its device ‘NeuroNode’.

Control Bionics claims that this NeuroNode is the world’s primary wearable EMG assistive technology product. Which helps people suffering with paralysis/loss of speech, (ALS) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or even known as (MND) Motor Neuron Disease to communicate with their caregivers or clinicians. 

How does it function?

It works with a small, non-invasive, medical-grade receiving set sensor which is placed on the muscle’s skin that is functional /the muscle patient is willing to move and use as a “switch” to control his devices. 

It functions by interpreting the signals directed from the brain to the muscle. Even if there is limited or no visible muscle activity, NeuroNode can interpret and use the EMG signals to control the user’s paired gadgets, like tablet, computer or a smartphone. 

NeuroNode system supported by Nordic SoC, basically functions as a wireless control panel connecting through the Bluetooth LE link to the operator’s compatible device equipped with iOS/OSx, Windows or Android. Apple Switch Control and Google Switch Access the most popular assistive scanning software can be operated by NeuroNode. 

Description of the product:

  • NeuroNode has a rechargeable LIR2032 battery, which has the same features as the common CR2023 battery but allows a significantly higher discharge current.
  • Five times smaller NeuroNode compared to NeuroSwitch (Control Bionics’ legacy EMG assistive communications device) reduces power consumption by almost 75 percent, due to the ultra-low power features of the nRF52832 SoC, which has been designed to lessen power consumption with features like 2.5GHz radio’s 5.5ma peak RX/TX currents and an entirely-automatic power management system. 
  • Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC associates with 64MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (tie-up Bluetooth 5, ANT, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dBm RX sensitivity, with 512KB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. 
  • The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified RF Software procedure stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. 
  • The S132 SoftDevice features Peripheral, Central, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, also enabling parallel role operation. Nordic’s Soft Device is also available for Bluetooth radio management, along with the bootloader. 

‘NeuroNode controller’ is an iOS companion app developed by Control Bionics which helps the user and the clinician to modify the NeuroNode according to the user’s capabilities. Through Bluetooth LE the connection to a host or other devices are made apt to use with other platforms by saving the customized parameters to NeuroNode. 

NeuroNode facilitates the differently abled users to access social media, watch and download online entertainment, send and receive emails and text messages, play games, operate external devices and use environmental control systems.

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