Bioengineers and cognitive scientists have recently developed a portable EEG device. A team from the University of California, San Diego has developed a 64 channel helmet like EEG device that can easily detect brain activities and interpret data accordingly. Boasting of 64-channel dry electrodes, instead of wet sensors and an effective software, the portable EEG provides high density brain activity data. The system will offer a wide range of applications from medical research to neuro-feedback and clinical diagnostics.
Wearable Technology: Portable EEG
The Jacobs School of Engineering and the Institute for Neural Computation at UC San Diego envisions a future where smart phone sensors will be able to compute brain activities and provide an effective remedy to neurological disorders. Gert Cauwenberghs, a bioengineering professor at the Jacobs School, and a principal investigator, explained that the purpose of devising such a cool device would be to help the medical science of neurology scale new heights. Not only will the EEG helmet help to make precise inferences like that of blood sugar level, but will also accurately (AUC = 0.97 ± 0.021) provide effective solutions to neural lesions.
The system designed by Mike Yu chi and his UC, San Diego team bears an octopus-like shape, in which each arm is elastic, so that it fits on many different kinds of head shapes. Silver and Carbon made sensors at the end of each arm are designed to make optimal contact with the scalp, while adding as little noise in the signal as possible. These sensors are mounted inside a pod equipped with an amplifier, which boosts the signal quality, while protecting the sensors from interferences from electrical equipment and other electronic components. The device can also produce error free results ,when the person is under some movements or undulations.
The software was developed by Mullen and Christian Kothe, former researchers at the Swartz Centre for Computational Neuroscience and currently the CTO of Qusp. The algorithm works in such a way so that the noisy data is compared with noise free data, and in the process the unwanted noise is discarded.
Sensors embedded on portable EEG
Chi and Mullen created start-ups named “Cognionics” and “Qusp” that commercialize brain monitoring systems. Cauwenberghs, co-founder of Cognionics claimed that entrepreneurial efforts were integral to the success of the Jacobs School and the Institute for Neural Computation, to help transfer neurotechnology from the lab to practical uses in cognitive and clinical applications. Wearable technologies such as portable EEG would help people to gauge brain activity and take better care of it, thereby remarkably upgrading the healthcare technology. The team detailed their findings in an article on the special Issue on wearable Technologies, published recently in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.
Source: IEEE Xplore | UC San Diego(JSE) Press