AI Improves the Lives of People with Parkinson’s

A new experimental tool powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) for facial expression recognition will allow Parkinson's disease patients to access the internet and navigate social media using facial expressions.

The Woman Post | Ayda María Martínez Ipuz

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The announcement made this week in Brazil by pharmaceutical company Eurofarma and global agency Dentsu Creative aims to help Parkinson's patients perform facial exercises while browsing social media, turning different gestures into screen navigation commands that work to delay the progression of their disease.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 8.5 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson's disease. In addition to following the treatment defined by their treating physician, these individuals must undergo physiotherapy to slow down the progression of this neurological disease. It is worth noting that within this group of patients, fewer women are diagnosed with the disease, although underdiagnosis is estimated to be high.

"Eurofarma has always specialized in central nervous system disorders, and with this new partnership, we seek to go further with options that provide support to Parkinson's patients. Innovation has been part of our DNA since we were born over 50 years ago, and once again, we are bringing something that can help people have a better quality of life," says Marco Billi, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Digital at Eurofarma.

The Scrolling Therapy is available for free on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It can be downloaded worldwide in three languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

"We are filled with optimism to bring an option that encourages people with Parkinson's to perform the exercises. We expect that, along with specialized rehabilitation, this innovative technology can motivate our community to stay active. We are very happy to support this new tool," added Erica Tardelli, a Parkinson's specialist physiotherapist and President of the Parkinson's Association of Brazil.

How does the app work?

After downloading the app on a mobile device, whether it's a phone or a tablet, a brief tutorial will be loaded, and then the user simply needs to open it for it to automatically integrate with Facebook and Instagram. Once accessed on either of the two social networks, the tool will be up and running.

As the patient progresses with the exercises, messages indicating success in executing the expressions will appear on the screen. When 45 minutes of activity have been completed, the daily goal will have been achieved.

The Scrolling Therapy app is intended solely for general well-being and does not provide any clinical or healthcare advice or guidance, nor is it intended directly or indirectly for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or rehabilitation of any disease, condition, or state. The contents of Scrolling Therapy, such as text, videos, graphics, and images, are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by any health authority or regulatory agency.

The content of this experimental tool is not intended to replace professional medical advice, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or rehabilitation or to cure or prevent any medical condition, the developers clarified.

"Self-diagnosis is not the purpose of this application, and patients should always seek the advice of their treating physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions they may have regarding any medical condition. Trust in any information provided in this document is solely at your own risk," the creators clarify in a statement.

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