Accenture and Philips announced they have collaborated to improve the lives of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders. The team has created a proof-of-concept application to demonstrate how ALS patients could benefit and gain great control of their lives through brain, voice, and eye commands. The software, created by Accenture and Philips, connects a wearable device (designed by Accenture-owned Fjord) to Emotiv Insight Brainware, which scans EEG brainwaves. The software is being created at the Accenture Technology Labs in San Jose, Calif., along with Philips Accelerator Labs in the Netherlands. It has the potential to give more independence to patients suffering from ALS, according to the companies.

Lou Gehrig’s disease impairs the brain and spinal cord nerve cells while gradually weakening voluntary muscle action. In late-stage ALS, patients often become completely paralyzed while retaining brain function. The wearable display and Emotiv Insight Brainware connect to a tablet, in which users can issue brain commands to control Philips-connected products, including Philips Lifeline Medical Alert, Philips Smart TV (with TP vision), and Hue personal wireless lighting. The device allows users to control the products using eye and voice commands. Even when muscle control and eye tracking ability are lost, users will still be able to operate Philips-connected products through brain commands with Emotiv technology tuning into electronic signals created by the brain to determine thoughts, feelings, and expressions.