Affecting more than 400,000 people each year, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s, is an illness that impairs brain and spinal cord nerve cells, gradually diminishing voluntary muscle action. Ultimately, late-stage patients often become totally paralyzed while retaining brain functions. To help with this situation, a recent proof of concept by Accenture and Royal Philips shows how technology could give more independence to patients with ALS.
The proof of concept shows how patients could use technology to take greater control of their lives through brain, voice and eye commands. When a device that scans EEG brainwaves, called Emotiv Insight Brainware, connects to a wearable display and tablet, individuals can use eye, voice and brain commands to control Philips products wirelessly, including Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Service, Philips Smart TV (with TP Vision), and Philips Hue personal lighting. For example, a person could communicate preconfigured messages, request medical assistance, and control TVs and lights. Accenture and Philips developed the software that enables integration and interaction between these technologies.
“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,” says Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer.
The proof of concept application demonstrates how existing technology could be used to transform the quality of life for ALS patients. To learn more, read the news release here.