Speech Vendor Gets Grant to Aid Children

The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC) has awarded Voxello a $50,000 seed grant to continue developing the noddle, a speech-generating system that allows hospitalized children who cannot speak to communicate with clinicians.

Voxello's noddle uses patented technology to detect the smallest intentional gesture and allow patients to access the nurse call system and control a speech-generating device. Thus, children who might only be able to produce a tongue click, head nod, or other small gesture would be able to summon help and effectively communicate with caregivers. PPDC funding will be used to support further development and clinical trials of the Voxello technology with hospitalized children and children with developmental disabilities.

Funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and based at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the PPDC helps companies develop commercial medical devices for use with children. The PPDC is a collaboration among Children's Hospital, Drexel University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

"We are very excited to once again provide these awards to innovators of medical devices for kids, and grateful to our partners at the Childress Institute for their matching funds," said Matthew Maltese of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Consortium's executive director and principal investigator.

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