Headset can spot signs of dementia
A Northern Ireland start-up has developed a headset that it says could spot early signs of dementia.
BrainWaveBank says the headset, which users need to wear while playing games on a phone, could go on sale to the public in three years. It monitors electrical brain activity to spot patterns that could be early indicators of brain conditions.
The company is backed by Innovate UK, the British government's tech investment arm, and is currently testing its headset on 90 people.
Brainwave studies have been held back in the past, because they do not have enough data. But the rise of cheaper sensors and machine-learning technology could mean establishing patterns that are reliable indicators of illness.
BrainWaveBank is working with First Derivatives, an Aim-listed big data company whose technology is typically used by banks and regulators to spot trading patterns.
The headset is worn for between 15 and 20 minutes a day while playing games on a smartphone, or tablet, designed to test memory. It connects via Bluetooth and sends off the "electroencephalographic" brain data.