Eyegaze Edge Talker
The LC Technologies Inc. Eyegaze Edge Talker (part # 421M-T) is fully Medicare compliant. The Eyegaze Edge Talker is dedicated to the single purpose of speech generation as classified under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) HCPCS 2014 Code E2510.
What makes the Eyegaze Edge Talker a Medicare-compliant SGD?
LC Technologies’ Eyegaze Edge Talker system has been developed specifically for use as a communication device (SGD) for people whose only means of communication is with their eyes. While the field of eye tracking has grown to include low-cost eyegaze systems, these devices were not designed for use by people with disabilities. They are typically unable to accommodate any of the variations in the human eye often seen in conjunction with various physical disabilities.
Features of the Eyegaze Edge Talker that are unique to this medical device include:
- Requires functional use of only one eye. People with eye injuries or strabismus are typically unable to successfully use most eye-operated systems because they either don’t have two functioning eyes or their eyes don’t track together.
- The Eyegaze Edge Talker uses unique algorithms to accurately locate the center of partially blocked pupils. Eye tracking is dependent on the observation of the pupil and locating its center. Typically the entire pupil must be visible in order for most eye tracking devices to be able to predict the patient’s gaze point reliably. Patients with ptosis (drooping) of the eyelid may be unable to operate other eyegaze systems. Our unique “droopy eyelid compensation” feature was developed specifically for the disabled population who are most often affected by this problem. Midriasis (abnormally large pupils), a side effect of many medications, may also result in a partially blocked pupil that can be accommodated with this feature.
- The Eyegaze Edge Talker tracking unusually small pupils accurately. Many narcotic pain medications cause the pupils to constrict and may prevent patients from using some eyegaze systems.
- The Eyegaze Edge Talker enables patients to communicate in any position. Because it only tracks one eye and doesn’t need to see the entire pupil of that one eye, the Eyegaze Edge Talker accommodates people who are comfortable in a variety of positions. Many people with disabilities find sitting erect uncomfortable or impossible. They may choose to lean to one side, or even lie on their side, which a non-disabled person is unlikely to do.
Is there a history of Medicare coverage of this device?
We have obtained Medicare coding verification for the Eyegaze Edge Talker, and CARF certification. In the past LC Technologies has pursued 3 hearings for Medicare payment of the Eyegaze Edge Talker, a.k.a. Eyegaze Communication System, all of which have been successful (ALJ appeal numbers 1-2452203791 and 1-45624781; Docket number 999-35-2002). With the exception of those few disputed claims, our experience with Medicare funding has been uniform acceptance by the program of requests for funding for this device and access aid.
What makes the eye tracking work so well?
LC Technologies has the largest library of eye images, collected from our Eyegaze users. Included in the image library are many images of unique and unusual eyes of patients who initially could not use the system. Those images are analyzed in our lab and used to test improvements to the image processing software that is the heart of the Eyegaze Edge Talker. Our goal is to serve the largest percentage of the disabled population possible, with a reliable, accurate, and easy to use eye-operated device.