Latest in Science

Image credit:

Implantable computer chip could spot seizures before they start

The wetware would work in tandem with the patient's grey matter.
6 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have teamed with IBM to develop an implantable computer chip capable of constantly monitoring the patient's brain activity and, hopefully, predict when they'll suffer an epileptic seizure. The chip is based on IBM's TrueNorth technology and uses a neural network architecture -- similar to the deep learning AIs that Facebook and Google have been toying with.

Much in the same way that neural networks can be taught to identify objects, the University of Melbourne team hopes to teach theirs to identify the electrical patterns that presage a seizure. "We're trying to extract all the meaningful information from all the background noise," University of Melbourne researcher Stefan Harrer told Wired. "We want to be able to detect a specific seizure for a specific patient." But before they can teach the system to do that, the team needs a lot more raw data.

The system is still just a proof of concept, mind you. A recent test run, in which the chip was tasked with analyzing brain waves to guess whether the patient squeezed a ball with his right or left hand, only tallied a 76 percent accuracy rating. That's about 10 points less than previous test simulations, though the researchers are confident that number will rise with further training. Unfortunately, that means we won't see these devices in a medical setting for years. Until then, people with epilepsy will have to continue relying on their seizure response dogs. Harrer's team is scheduled to present their findings at the ACM Computing Frontiers conference in May.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
6 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Netflix's 'Cowboy Bebop' production pauses after John Cho is injured on-set

Netflix's 'Cowboy Bebop' production pauses after John Cho is injured on-set

View
Nike puts an accessibility twist on its iconic Air Jordan 1

Nike puts an accessibility twist on its iconic Air Jordan 1

View
Alphabet’s Wing starts drone deliveries to US homes

Alphabet’s Wing starts drone deliveries to US homes

View
Boeing messages hint staff may have misled FAA about 737 Max

Boeing messages hint staff may have misled FAA about 737 Max

View
Judge refuses to block the release of ‘The Laundromat’ on Netflix

Judge refuses to block the release of ‘The Laundromat’ on Netflix

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr