Royal Philips ($PHG) and Accenture have created proof-of-concept software to enable anyone with limited muscle or speech function to better interact with the world around them. It works with a wearable display that's part of Emotiv Insight Brainware. The immobilized users of the system, which scans EEG brainwaves, can use it to connect to a tablet and issue brain commands to control Philips products including medical alert, smart TV and wireless lighting as well as text and email.
Philips CEO Frans van Houten
This fits in with a broader mandate for Philips to make itself more relevant in healthcare. Philips is under pressure to turn around its healthcare unit, which was its largest and worst performing group last quarter. The chief of Philips Healthcare, Deborah DiSanzo, recently departed, and the unit now reports directly to Philips CEO Frans van Houten.
In addition, Philips recently undertook a partnership with salesforce.com to create a clinical, cloud-based healthcare platform. The company hopes this amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) project will help to make its efforts to forge ahead in healthcare more concrete.
"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," Philips CEO of Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services Jeroen Tas said in a statement.
"Philips will continue to collaborate with innovative technology companies such as Accenture to explore new wearable and sensor solutions that change people's lives and create a healthier future," he added.
In addition to responding to brain commands, the app also works with eye and voice commands. The patient can use the system to communicate preconfigured messages, request medical assistance and to control TV and lighting. The wearable display offers the user visual feedback that helps them navigate through the application menu. Philips expects that patients with advanced ALS or other neurodegenerative diseases could most benefit from the software.
- here is the release