If you could read my mind, love, what a tale my thoughts could tell…

Using a device which detects patterns in brain activity, patients paralysed by ALS can answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – and tell doctors they are ‘happy’ with life.

During the sessions, the patients wore a cap that uses infrared light to spot variations in blood flow in different regions of the brain. As they answered the questions, a computer hooked up to the cap learned to distinguish the blood flow patterns for “yes” and “no” in each patient.

For his next project, Birbaumer wants to build a system that allows patients to communicate more proactively, rather than simply answer questions.

Brain Activity

Why It’s Hot
Bless technology. When it’s used for good it’s so good. But when I read this the first thing I thought about was how companies would try to use the technology for profit – i.e. hijacking customer brainwaves to make them an offer their rationale selves can’t refuse. Just a reminder that we need to keep our values with us as we make choices on behalf of customers.

Cameras in the body. (Get my good side!)

Body Sensors Daso 3.9.16

There have been several Sci-fi movies over time that tell the story of people being shrunken down to then ride the blood stream and fix some horrific problem someone is suffering from. Well, forget shrinking people, the healthcare industry device manufacturers and many small start-ups have started an upward swing in using micro-cameras and sensors to help play the first line of defense in detecting diseases.

Examples? Sensors that are either ingested or inserted under the skin that can detect breast cancer, COPD, sight degeneration: that is just a sample of the Gold Rush to get a sensor or camera in your body.

One camera, created in Scotland, is using infrared to detect cancer growths in certain parts of the body. Said research associate Dr. Mohammed Al-Rawhani, in a university news release:  “The system could also be used to help track antibodies used to label cancer in the human body, creating a new way to detect of cancer.”

As of today, the FDA approved PillCam COLON2 (you really have to wonder who picks these names) which will be used for hi-risk colorectal cancer patients, a disease which is the 2nd biggest killer in the U.S.

HS Medtronic pill 4.1.16

Why is this hot? For two reasons: first, it is a sign that the reliance on technology is changing the observational role of the doctor — they are trained to watch your every gesture, emotions, words, all weighed against experience and intuition to lead a doctor down the detective path to a diagnosis. Sensors and cameras start to make them health technologists. Second, this will also enable to get ahead of many diseases, not behind. Don’t we all secretly, in some dark moment, wonder if a tumor is growing somewhere in your body, unknown and lurking?  That fear and the thousand shadows of uncertainty will be gone in a decade or less.

Oku: Skin Sensor for the Beauty Obsessed

OKU is a skin-focused mHealth device designed to help users obsess over their skin. OKU first uses visible light to look beneath the surface of a user’s skin to evaluate skin health. Then by analyzing a variety of factors such as oil, firmness and moisture levels, the connected app scores the user’s skin and makes care, diet and lifestyle recommendations to improve skin health. Vanity has never been this easy!


The true value of OKU comes in its recommendation/tracking capabilities. In addition to evaluating your skin today, OKU is able to predict skin developments and helps users avert negative changes. Moreover, the device helps users set goals and track progress to a healthier face.

The device launches this spring for $300.

Why It’s Hot

OKU is a major test for the consumer demand for mHealth gadgetry. While many device-based mHealth solutions are for niche or specialty conditions, OKU is thinking bigger: everyone’s got a face that blemishes and ages. The mechanism and method also position OKU to lead a burgeoning market of devices with potential to build in multiple use cases, even diagnostic capabilities for advanced conditions. Though at $300, OKU certainly doesn’t price itself for immediate mass consumer penetration. Perhaps if skincare professionals latch on to this idea and recommend OKU for their patients, OKU might find advocates?

Source: Tech Crunch