Wearable brain sensors could help children with behavioural disorders

  • Wearable sensors may have the potential to diagnose childhood behavioural disorders much earlier than traditional methods, leading to early intervention and much better treatment outcomes.

    The past few years have seen something of a revolution in wearable medtech, with devices now able to read brain activity using non-invasive wearables and deep learning providing new ways to analyse and interpret the data it gives us. As we wrote about recently, wearable sensors have the potential to revolutionise medical diagnosis and treatment by allowing the continuous collection of medical data.

    The magic that will really make medical wearables tick could be artificial intelligence, which is great at making sense of large volumes of data as long as it's given plenty of training using information that's been pre-classified by an expert in the field. We've already seen how effective this has been in Northern Ireland as local medtech firm NeuroCONCISE has used its wearable brain sensor to diagnose brain activity in unresponsive patients and enable them to communicate with loved ones again.

    Now attention is starting to turn to childhood behavioural disorders, a field that Sanjana Varghese over at Wired UK has delved deeply into in a fascinating new article. The same kinds of wearables that are helping to diagnose patients with brain injury here in Northern Ireland could be used to collect data on children during their day and aid in early diagnosis of behavioural disorders that are often difficult and time-consuming to discover.

    Early intervention can significantly help children with these issues once diagnosis is made as their brains are more malleable than adults, but current diagnostic methods rely on detailed observational studies and expert interpretation. Wearable medtech and AI could combine to help more children get the help they need early in life, but as Wired notes, there isn't enough conclusive data on the tech yet and there are still some ethical concerns.

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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