Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WhiteBox EEG (Big Data EEG Recording and Analysis platform)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The main objective of the WhiteBox EEG project is to develop and commercialise the world`s first scalable, multipurpose, high-throughput, Big Data electroencephalograph (EEG) Platform, that enables doctors, researchers and other EEG practitioners to record and analyse larger sets of EEG data in much shorter timeframes and with considerably lower costs. Such an innovative combination of software and hardware is crucial in order to be able to achieve a wider deployment of EEG technology that is much needed for early detection, diagnosis and treating of a wide array of neurodegenerative diseases.

Hence, the aim of the WhiteBox EEG project is to deploy on a large scale the push-button EEG medical device for early detection of Alzheimer’s dementia which is – due to an ageing population - becoming a growing social and economic burden in EU and beyond. Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is crucial both for a more effective treatment as well as for managing its rising economic and social impacts. However, Alzheimer Dementia (AD) is one of the most underdiagnosed and undertreated diseases in the world.

With the increased recording capacity of 10+ subjects simultaneously, up to 10 times faster recording output and up to 40% in cost savings compared to the existing EEG recording solutions, our innovative solution will disrupt the market for EEG research and medical diagnostics, EEG equipment and recording platforms and applied neuroscience.

In addition, our scalable EEG recording and analysis solution is also a response to an increased need of experts and clinicians to obtain large standardised databases of brain activity for clinical trials, clinical validation of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases and big data and machine learning approaches in brain research.
The high-throughput capabilities and the scalability of the WhiteBox platform provide an answer to a lack of larger databases of standardised and consistent EEG recordings that enable Big Data approaches, which are crucial for the clinical validation of biomarkers.

Our disruptive innovation not only makes the existing EEG recording and analysis faster and cheaper but through its scalability also represents a big opportunity to bring the benefits of EEG brain-imaging technology to new areas of use ranging from medical & research field (such as EEG based predictive disease diagnostics, personalised medicine, big data EEG analysis) to the emerging field of applied neuroscience (such as NeuroEducation, Neuromarketing/Consumer Neuroscience, Neuro-HR and Change Management, User Centred Neurodesign and EEG performance optimization in Professional Sports).

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The purpose of the Phase 1 was to outline the full scope of further development potential of our innovative solution, involving the technical and business viability issues, also regarding the analysis of associated risks and the exploitation of the project`s commercial potential to the fullest.

The WhiteBox EEG platform has been designed from the ground up to be highly flexible and modular. As part of the feasibility study, we therefore first had to examine 2 strategic options in which the WhiteBox EEG platform can be further developed and commercialised:

A. Focus on the WhiteBox EEG platform itself
This option involves focusing on the scalable and modular features of the platform and commercialise it as a turn-key flexible solution for faster and more effective EEG recording that can be used wherever EEG signals need to be recorded and analysed with great precision. In this case the platform itself would be the key product.

B. Focus on a concrete implementation to solve a particular problem
The second option involves developing and commercialising an end product based on the platform that will solve a more specific problem in a field of use with a large potential for growth.

In the course of the feasibility study we have established that the focus on a concrete implementation, i.e. strategic option B is the most viable way to proceed. In this sense, the WhiteBox EEG platform will be used as a basis to implement the world`s first push button device and platform used for early detection of Alzheimer’s dementia that is affordable and easy to use and which makes it applicable on a large scale.

Early detection is the first and extremely important step in dealing with the rise of Alzheimer’s dementia. Although currently there is no cure, Alzheimer's medications can temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms and improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. In order for these treatments to be effective early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is crucial. Early detection is equally important from the social as well as economic aspects. Namely, economic models suggest that the costs associated with an earlier dementia diagnosis are more than offset by the cost savings from the benefits of anti-dementia drugs and caregiver interventions. These benefits include delayed institutionalization and enhanced quality of life of people with dementia and of their caregivers.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

All development efforts during the feasibility study have been focused on the provision of unique technological features that will represent the backbone of the push button solution for early Alzheimer’s detection.

Basic research study has discovered promising EEG biomarkers, on the basis of which future diagnostic procedure for Alzheimer`s disease can be developed.

Stress, security and accuracy testing:

The system prototype of the WhiteBox EEG platform has undergone first demonstration in an operational environment. Initial tests were completed and we have received a positive feedback from the relevant users, which also represent the intended end users. Additional stress, security and accuracy tests have been successfully conducted to prove that the capabilities and performance of recording software and analytics were on pair with the equipment currently used in the relevant operational environment.

Verification of technological viability and adding new technological features to the WhiteBox platform:

Besides identifying biomarkers, we have also established that the next major challenge is the need for a specialised push button EEG recording and analysis solution that is affordable, scalable and simple enough to be used without extensive expert knowledge in advanced EEG data recording and analytics.

In the course of the implementation of the feasibility study all key R&D activities have been focused on this. In order to make it even more suitable for serving as a backend platform for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, an innovative real-time signal detection has been added to the platform that enables to achieve ease of use hitherto unimaginable for medical and research grade EEG devices. Advanced cloud based automated analytics has also been added that ensures high levels of scalability.

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