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Accenture And Philips Announce Proof Of Concept App To Show How ALS Patients Could Gain Greater Control Of Their Lives Through Brain, Voice And Eye Commands

ANDOVER, Mass. and NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) and Accenture  (NYSE: ACN) today announced that they have developed 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. 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."

How it works

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. In both cases, a person could communicate preconfigured messages, request medical assistance, and control TVs and lights. Accenture and Philips developed the software that enables the integration and interaction between these multiple technologies.

The proof of concept application demonstrates how existing technology could be used to transform the quality of life for ALS patients. When patients lose muscle control and eye tracking ability, they can still potentially operate the Philips suite of connected products in their home environment through brain commands. 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.

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