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Eurofarma’s ‘Scrolling Therapy’ Is an Innovative Digital Tool for Parkinson’s Patients


AI experimental tool from Dentsu Creative enables patients with Parkinson’s disease to control their social media engagement using facial expressions

Eurofarma’s ‘Scrolling Therapy’ Is an Innovative Digital Tool for Parkinson’s Patients

Eurofarma, a Brazilian-based multinational pharmaceutical corporation with operations in 22 countries, and global creative agency Dentsu Creative, today announced the launch of a new facial expression recognition experimental tool powered by artificial intelligence that enables patients with Parkinson’s disease to control their social media engagement using facial expressions.  

The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates 8.5 million people worldwide are affected by Parkinson's disease. In addition to any medical treatment in place, patients need to undergo physical therapy to slow the progression of symptoms of the neurological disease.   

The project team was dedicated to developing an innovative experimental digital tool that can help patients perform facial exercises through social media, controlling commands on the device's screen through gestures. 

From the partnership between Dentsu Creative and Eurofarma, and with the support of the Brazil Parkinson Association was born Scrolling Therapy, an innovative app integrated with the social media networks Facebook and Instagram, and which, through the use of artificial intelligence, encourages patients to navigate the feed only by using facial expressions, such as smiles, mouth movements, nose, forehead, eyebrows, among others. The goal is to generate stimuli in the face and exercise the muscles, as a tool that can be complementary to all treatments already carried out focused on the condition. An important fact is that many patients with this disorder are unable to perform facial exercises, which can delay the symptoms of muscle atrophy in the face, causing hypomimia (reduced facial expressions). 

The Dentsu Creative team championed the idea, rallying around the development in support of fellow colleague, Sebastián Porta, a patient with the disorder, who manifested the need of doing something to help the Parkinson’s community. Tapping into the advance of technology and the emergence of new artificial intelligence and communication channels, the team brought to life the possibility of developing something innovative that would unite facial exercises for people with this disease, while delivering an improved social experience for them.  

"It is very difficult to sit in front of a mirror for 45 minutes a day and watch your facial expressions changing in front of your eyes. Living with the disease is already difficult enough without literally facing it in the mirror every day. That's why I felt very motivated to propose a technology that could support all patients through an entertaining activity, which is browsing social media," comments Porta. 

Eurofarma is one of the pharmaceutical industries that invest most in innovation. This is the first time that the company has ventured into the realm of digital tools. Eurofarma believes in this type of approach and, in the coming years, will remain motivated to prioritize projects with this focus.  

"Eurofarma has always specialized in Central Nervous System disorders and, with this new partnership, we are seeking to go further, with options that could support 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 innovative focused on people’s quality of life," says Marco Billi, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Digital at Eurofarma. 

The Scrolling Therapy tool is available for free on the Google Play store and coming soon to the Apple App Store. It is currently available worldwide to download in three languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish. 

"We are very optimistic about bringing an option that encourages people with Parkinson's to exercise. Our expectation is that, associated with specialised rehabilitation, this innovative technology can engage our community to stay active. We are very happy to be able to support this new tool," added Dr. Erica Tardelli, physiotherapist specialist in the disease and president of Brazil Parkinson Association.  

App Development 

The creation and development of the application joined efforts and collaboration of Dentsu Creative teams in Argentina, Brazil and USA, with Eurofarma and dentsu health's specialists. “This innovation was ideated in Argentina, developed in the US, and manufactured in Brazil, a truly global effort of medical specialists, creatives, and developers coming together across geographies and languages to deliver this ground-breaking technological application,” said Rafael Rizuto, Chief Creative Officer, US and Hispanic LATAM for Dentsu Creative. “At a time when AI is facing skepticism and being vilified, this is using its powers for good to benefit society and to help providing quality of life for many people who live with this disease.”” 

How does the App work? 

After downloading the app on a mobile device, whether it's a phone or tablet, a brief tutorial will be loaded and then the user simply needs to open it on the screen for automatic integration with Facebook and Instagram. Then, accessing on either social network, the tool will already be in operation. When the user begins to browse the feed, there will be five facial gestures established in the platform that will execute commands on the screen, such as these.

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

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Categories: Beauty & Health, Health care

Dentsu Creative US, Mon, 01 May 2023 10:54:00 GMT