Royal Philips and Accenture have developed proof of concept software connecting a wearable display to Emotiv Insight Brainware that could give more independence to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases. Affecting more than 400,000 people per year, ALS — which is 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.
The setup involves a wearable display, the Emotiv Insight Brainware and a tablet to allow users to issue brain commands and control various Philips products.“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 setup involves a wearable display, the Emotiv Insight Brainware (which scans EEG brainwaves) and a tablet to allow users to issue brain commands and control Philips products like Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Service, Philips SmartTV (with TP Vision), and Philips Hue personal wireless lighting. The tablet also enables control of these products using eye and voice commands. In both cases, a person could communicate preconfigured messages, request medical assistance, and control TVs and lights.
The Emotiv technology uses sensors to tune in to electric signals produced by the wearer’s brain to detect, in real-time, their thoughts, feelings and expressions. The wearable display provides visual feedback that allows the wearer to navigate through the application menu.
The Accenture Technology Labs in San Jose, California collaborated with the Philips Digital Accelerator Lab in the Netherlands to create the software to interact with the Emotiv Insight Brainware and the wearable display. Fjord, a design consultancy owned by Accenture Interactive, designed the display’s user interface.
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