Improving communications and outcomes for acute care


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Voxello: Fast Facts

Voxello provides communication and access solutions for acute care and long term care patients with the noddle® device. The patented noddle recognizes small intentional gestures to allow the patient to both access a nurse call and communicate via Voxello’s noddle-chatTM.  Non-verbal patients with or without fine motor skills can then communicate their needs to both care givers and loved ones.

Impact from Communication Barriers

Receiving appropriate and efficient care in a hospital or long term care facility relies on the quality of communication achieved between patient and provider.

When a patient is in the intensive care unit, every moment counts. Precious time may be lost while interpreting current methods of communication, which haven’t been updated in decades. 

Beyond communicating ideas, it’s estimated that at any given time, 33% of cognitively intact U.S. patients in the ICU and 9% of patients on other units are unable to even operate a standard nurse call device.

Voxello knows it’s time to do better, for patients, loved ones, and providers alike. 

Voxello's Solution:

By realizing the potential of recent technological advances, Voxello has engineered a fresh new way to enhance the patient and provider communication experience. Meet noddle, a multifaceted approach to nonverbal communication that does away with the outdated, manual methods for good. 

The noddle is an easy to learn plug and play device that detects small, voluntary actions such as tongue clicks via various sensors, allowing patients to control the nurse call system, speech-generating devices, and more.

How It Works

The noddle solution is comprised of 3 facets: the platform, the sensors and the software.

noddle Platform

The Voxello solution provides the end user with an integrated system that includes the noddle smart switch, the noddle sensors, the noddle-chat speech generating tablet and a custom mount to allow positioning of the system on an IV pole at the bedside.


  • J-Mic and intubator-mounted Vent-Mic respond to a click of the tongue
  • J-Touch sensor controls the Noddle tablet for patients with fine motor skills
  • Bed-Touch sensor allows Noddle chat control with low-force touch, mounted directly to a bed or pillow and intubator-mounted Vent-Mic respond to a click of the tongue

Noddle chat is the software which connects the sensors to the noddle via an encrypted bluetooth link to translate sensory input.

  • Preloaded vocabulary customized by age and gender
  • Can be personalized by the patient or loved ones via a keypad
  • Intentional gestures can communicate basic conversation, pain, feelings and humor, environmental control, and conversations regarding diagnosis, treatment, and potential outcomes

Traction & Accomplishments 

Voxello has come a long way since its inception at the University of Iowa as an Iowa Medical Innovations Group (IMIG) student project. Simulations were so successful that the Noddle was born, and the project is destined to continue this wave of success.

An exit survey of UI patients showed that on a scaled composite score, patients who used the Noddle were 25% more satisfied (total 84%)  than patients who could not communicate traditionally (59%).

Noddle 2 and Min-Mo sensor are released to manufacturing, bilingual Noddle chat and Noddle Wink are in the works

Signed distribution agreement with Saltillo

IP obtained for Noddle, provisional patent on the Min-Mo Sensor

Used by Jefferson Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, UW Health, Children’s hospital in St. Louis, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Kindred, and the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs

Featured by NBC Nightly News, Gazette, and the University of Iowa

“The technology incorporated in the Voxello noddle has been extremely helpful in enabling us to provide the best possible care for neurosurgery patients with severe neurological injuries.”
Matthew A. Howard, MD, Professor, Department of Neurosurgery and DEO, John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

We love it! This gives back patient dignity.”
Jolyn Schneider, BSN, RN, PCCN, Nurse Manager, Department of Nursing Intensive & Specialty Services, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Burn Treatment Center​

Leadership Team 

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