20.08.2015

Pictograms: a speech disorder solution

Image | PictoConnection

Technology in the field of health is undergoing cutting-edge development; eHealth and mHealth enable many people to improve their health by themselves in a way that would have previously been unthinkable. These technological tools are tailored to the user’s special needs, and many can even be used easily at home and can form part of the healing process or improvement of the patient

There are more than 11.5 million people in the world that cannot communicate, due to various types of problems such as speech disorders, neurological disorders, an illness or an accident. For example, autism is one of the most common disorders of this type. Many children suffer from these types of disorders and may not always be able to be in schools or environments not tailored to their needs.

Within this context, the creation of PictoConnection arose, a Spanish start-up that has developed intelligent communication software in order to help children with speech disorders. PictoConnection is a resource for everyday use to enable totally independent communication between these children and their environment. 

This start-up was created within Aantea, a non-profit association that offers activities and therapy for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Among the association’s various projects, PictoConnection is one of the most ambitious even though the association offers many other daily activities to improve the life of citizens. To publicise this new support tool, PictoConnection took part in the 2015 edition of 4YFN, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona’s event for start-ups.

Under the slogan “a unique tool for each person, because each person is unique”, PictoConnection offers users advanced technology that is easy to use so that children can communicate with the people around them. In web or app form, the programme presents various pictogram panels with an image and sound with which the users can generate messages that the programme plays aloud. The application evolves along with their username, which goes through various levels of complexity as the user advances.

Even though there are applications on the market that share the same purposes, PictoConnection is a completely innovative app. Thanks to its technology which is based on Big Data and is combined with artificial intelligence, the programme carries out a neuropsychological test on the patient. Additionally, PictoConnection has been designed taking into account the importance of the parents’ role in the child’s development. That’s why one of its objectives is to create a connection between the parents and the professional; the app will enable families and professionals such as doctors and teachers to be in contact to discuss the user’s development.

The application is also exclusive in terms of its reliability, and that it has already been tested by professionals and real users.

Another main advantage of PictoConnection is that it is a personalised application, and that it is possible to claim that there are not two PictoConnections that are the same. Through various collaborative galleries, it is possible to personalise the app according to the uses’ wishes. This is done by adapting its content and offering individualised recommendations based on the users’ needs. You can create new materials such as photos, and instantly share the content with family members, teachers, and specialised centres.

In a society in which every day is a fight for social inclusion, both adults and children require that the technology is involved in the process as a means of help and support. Initiatives such as PictoConnection can undoubtedly see a before and after in the lives of these people and those around them.