Music as Precision Medicine: Marko Ahtisaari Keynote at IXDA16


If walking to a piece of music could potentially help someone with Parkinson’s, wouldn’t you do it?

Sync Project CEO Marko Ahtisaari gave a keynote speech about design, science and music, and also shed some light on "the big picture" here at Sync at the Interaction 16 Conference in Helsinki. He pointed out that while there is an intuition that music moves us and improves our health in addition strong directional evidence in science, no one has built a platform to measure the bio-metric effects of music listening at scale. This is what Sync is doing.

“The basic idea is to create music as precision medicine”, Ahtisaari summarized. So far the most promising conditions where music can have an effect are sleep, pain, movement disorders and athletic performance. “The fundamental neurological function that underlines music listening and playing is being much better understood.”, Ahtisaari continued. For example, it has been shown that music actually stimulates the same neural pathways that some drugs and psychostimulants do.

Interaction 16 was organized by Design Association IxDA.org and was held at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, in March 2016.