The ALS Association and Prize4Life announce the five finalists for the ALS Assistive Technology Challenge to encourage the development of technology to help people with ALS communicate with ease.

The winner, who will receive $400,000, will be selected in Dublin, Ireland, on December 5 during the International Symposium of ALS/MND.

According to a media release from The ALS Association, the finalists are:

Team name: Project Vive
Lead investigator: Mary Elizabeth McCulloch, CEO & Founder
Team members: Joseph McCulloch, CTO, Rodney Miller, Lead Developer
Location: Howard, Pa

Team name: Pison Technology
Lead investigator: Dexter Ang
Team members: David Cipoletta, Julia Zhu, Wenxin Feng and Kyle Connors
Location: Brookline, Mass

Team name: Boston Children’s Hospital
Lead investigator: John M. Costello, Director of ALS Augmentative Communication Program, Boston Children’s Hospital
Team members: Ole Alexander Maehle, Vice President of Engineering; Ragnar Mjelde, Program Manager; David Lee, Project Manager; TobiiDynavox International
Location: Boston

Team name: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior
Lead investigator: Peter Desain, Chair of Artificial Intelligence
Team members: Joost Raaphorst, Jan Groothuis, Janneke Weikamp, Radboud University Medical Center (NL), Neurology and Rehabilitation Departments; Bart van de Warrenburg, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (NL), Knowledge Utilisation; Evy Reviers, ALS Liga (BE), Patient Associations, Communication; Mike Chi, Cognionics (VS), EEG equipment; Merijn Klarenbeek, WeBoost, (NL) Project Management; Peter Ossenkoppele, rdgKompagne, (NL) Assistive Technology Provider
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Team name: BlueSky Designs
Lead investigator: Dianne Goodwin, M.E., B.M.E.
Team members: Nick Lee, Marty Stone and Peter Loeffler
Location: Minneapolis

“We are extremely grateful for all the submission received for the challenge,” says Lucie Bruijn, PhD, MBA, chief scientist for The ALS Association, in the release.

“We look forward to the official judging in Dublin, which includes not only notable ALS scientists and technology experts but also people living with the disease, who will know better than anyone the impact this new technology will have in adapting to the symptoms of ALS and improving quality of life.”

[Source(s): The ALS Association, PR Newswire]