Philips and Accenture have partnered to develop proof of concept software connecting a wearable display to Emotiv Insight Brainware that could ultimately give more independence to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The proof of concept empowers ALS patients in the comforts of their home. Despite losing muscle control and eye tracking ability, patients' thoughts, feelings and expressions can be detected by the Emotiv technology, potentially enabling them to operate a Philips suite of connected products in their home environment through brain commands.
Affecting more than 400,000 people per year, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, impairs brain and spinal cord nerve cells, gradually diminishing voluntary muscle action. Late-stage patients often become totally paralyzed while retaining brain functions.
''This proof of concept exemplifies how people, devices, data and technology could be brought together quickly to connect beyond the hospital walls in a way that can potentially help improve the quality of life for patients, wherever they are in their journey,'' said Jeroen Tas, CEO, Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services for Philips. ''Philips will continue to collaborate with innovative technology companies such as Accenture to explore new wearable and sensor solutions that change peoples’ lives and create a healthier future.'‘
The solution builds on the broader wearable technology trend and serves as another example of how the adoption of connected health can become tangible and actionable for individuals. By partnering, Philips and Accenture also demonstrate the power of collaboration between companies to create meaningful innovation.
As innovators work to connect technologies to data and solutions to care, entities both public and private must also work together to help people live healthier, happier and more productive lives.
When a wearable display and the Emotiv Insight Brainware, which scans EEG brainwaves, are connected to a tablet, users can issue brain commands to control Philips products including Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Service, Philips SmartTV (with TP Vision), and Philips Hue personal wireless lighting. The tablet also allows control of these products using eye and voice commands.
''This proof of concept shows the potential of wearable technology in a powerful new way —helping people with serious diseases and mobility issues take back some control of their lives through digital innovation,'' said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer. ''It is another demonstration of how Accenture and Philips, collaborating with other technology innovators, seek to improve the lives of people with healthcare challenges.'‘
''Empowering people with Lou Gehrig's disease to live fuller lives is at the heart of the ALS Association’s mission,” said Ineke Zaal, spokesperson for Stichting ALS in The Netherlands. “We are tremendously excited about the potential for this proof of concept to give people with ALS greater independence and quality of life as we continue to actively search for a cure.'‘
For more information on the proof of concept application for controlling Philips connected technologies with brain commands, visit http://www.philips.com/braincommand and join the continuing conversation on LinkedIn with Philips Innovations in Health Group.