When patients recover from coma, determining their level of consciousness can be difficult, even for an experienced clinician. Our goal is to provide a Consciousness Monitoring Index: a robust method to detect and quantitatively monitor the extent to which a human being is or is not conscious. Using electrodes attached to the scalp, we monitor the electro-encephalographic (EEG) signal which reflects ongoing brain activity. We have discovered and filed a patent for several mathematical indices which can be easily computed from the EEG, and which, alone or in combination, provide a continuous indicator of whether the person is or is not conscious. Our empirical studies in patients with coma, vegetative state show that our EEG-based markers can (1) accurately determine whether a patient is or not conscious at the time of testing; (2) establish how consciousness fluctuates from moment to moment; (3) predict, in a statistical manner, the capacity of the patient to recover consciousness.
In this project, we propose to establish the scientific validity, technical feasibility, market potential, business model, and legal context for two distinct services that could be provided: (1) an off-line computer-based service for automated analysis of existing clinical EEG recordings, taking the form of a web server where clinicians would upload these data and receive a summary of indicators of consciousness. (2) an on-line bedside monitor of consciousness, taking the form of a tablet PC and dedicated EEG amplifier constantly displaying a scrolling view of indicators of consciousness, for real-time use by clinicians and by families, possibly with real-time feedback to patients.
Our application is primarily intended for adult patients with disorders of consciousness, their doctors and their families, but its market could be much larger, and we will explore its possible extension to anaesthesia, sleep disorders, epilepsy, pediatric populations, professional and personal use.
Field of science
- /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/anaesthesiology
- /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
Call for proposal
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