Accenture and Philips release mind-controlled app

Accenture and Philips have developed an app to help sufferers of neurodegenerative disease take back control of their life.

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Accenture and Philips have developed an app to help sufferers of neurodegenerative disease to take back control of their life.

This proof-of-concept means that patients with reduced mobility can use their brain to control Philips devices using eye, voice or brain commands to communicate over devices, request medical assistance or control televisions and lights.

The Accenture-developed technology uses an Emotiv Insight Brainware headset, which scans Electroencephalogram (EEG) brainwaves – similarly to how an MRI scan works, except it monitors electrical activity that changes in tune with a person's concentration levels.

Accenture have developed an application that connects these brainwaves to a tablet. Using different levels of concentration, a user can issue commands to control Philips products like the Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Service, a SmartTV or Philips Hue personal wireless lighting.

Jeroen Tas, CEO of healthcare informatics solutions and services for Philips, said: “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.”

An open source app developed by East London start-up This Place similarly linked brain activity recording technology to Google Glass headsets, allowing users to navigate the wearable using their mind.

Harnessing EEG and electrocardiogram (ECG), the recording of heart rhythm technology and partnering it with devices in the expanding wearable industry signals a transformative change in the quality of life for patients suffering from paralysis.

“Empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s disease to live fuller lives is at the heart of the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (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.”  

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