Wearable patch simultaneously monitors biochemical, electric signals

Joe Wang and Patrick Mercier of UCSD have developed a flexible, wearable, patch that monitors both biochemical and electric signals.

Most  wearables only measure one parameter, such as steps or heart rate, and few measure chemical signals. The Chem-Phys patch records EKG signals, and tracks lactate levels, marking physical effort, in real time.  It  is worn on the chest and communicates wirelessly with a phone or computer. The system could help optimize athletic training, or continuously monitor heart patients, among other uses.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

 

Algorithm to help computers reason, imagine like humans?

Vicarious is developing a neural network algorithm designed to process data in a way that is similar to a human brain — giving it a computer “imagination.”  The company considers its work superior to current Deep Learning processes, as they claim it includes more features that appear in biology — including  the ability to envision what the learned information should look like in various scenarios.

In an MIT Technology Review interview, co-founder Dileep George said that “imagination could help computers process language by tying words, or symbols, to low-level physical representations of real-world things. In theory, such a system might automatically understand the physical properties of something like water, for example, which would make it better able to discuss the weather.”

The company has not yet announced any tangible products If successful, they could develop applications for assistive robots that could change the lives of the disabled.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Tiny, ingestible robot can deliver medicine, patch wounds, remove objects

Daniela Rus and MIT, University of  Sheffield, and Tokyo Institute of Technology colleagues have developed an ingestible origami robot designed to patch wounds, deliver medicine or remove foreign objects from a person’s stomach.

The tiny robot, made of pig intestines, can unfold itself from a swallowed capsule. Steered by a doctor using external magnetic fields, the “microsurgeon” crawls across the stomach wall, and propels itself using a “stick-slip” motion.

Click to view MIT video


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Thought controlled prosthetic arm has human-like movement, strength

This week at the Pentagon, Johnny Matheny unveiled his DARPA developed prosthetic arm.  The mind-controlled prosthesis has the same size, weight, shape and grip strength of a human arm, and, according to Matheny, can do anything one can do.

It is, by all accounts, the most advanced prosthetic limb created to date.

The 100 sensor arm was developed as part of the “Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program” of the Biological Technologies office, led by Dr. Justin Sanchez.

An implanted neural interface allows the wearer to control the arm with his thoughts. Sensors are also implanted in the fingertips, sending signals back to the brain, allowing users to feel sensations.

Click to view Johns Hopkins video.

Dr. Sanchez will be a keynote speaker at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech NYC conference on June  7-8, 2016 at the New York Academy of Sciences.

Machine learning model enables robotic hand to learn autonomously

Vikash Kumar and University of Washington colleagues have developed a simulation model that allows robotic hands to learn from their own experiences, while performing dexterous manipulation.  Human direction is not required.

A recent study incorporated the model while a robotic hand attempted several tasks, including  rotating an elongated object. With each try, the hand became better able to spin the tube. Machine learning algorithms helped it model the basic physics involved, and plan the actions it should take to best complete the task.

Click to view University of Washington video


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Self-dissolving brain monitoring electrodes

University of Pennsylvania researchers are developing implantable,  brain monitoring electrodes that dissolve at a predetermined rate.  The DARPA funded device could provide continuous data used to monitor or treat Parkinson’s disease, depression and chronic pain.  As it is absorbed into the body, the risk associated with removal is eliminated.

ApplySci recently described a related self dissolving implant, developed by Wilson Zachary Ray at Washington University, used to monitor TBI patients.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Game navigation uncovers early dementia signs

Sea Hero Quest is a smartphone game that  follows the journey of a sea explorer who has lost his memories. It is being used as a tool to uncover early dementia symptoms for research purposes.

One of the first symptoms of dementia could be a loss of orientation. Gamer decisions and movements will help  researchers set a benchmark of “normal” navigational skills.

The developers at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Deutsche Telecom, University College London and the University of East Anglia hope to reach 100,000 players this year.  This would provide exponentially more data, in a short period of time, than traditional studies could.

Click to view Alzheimer’s UK video


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

“Cognitive Dress” colors reflect observer emotions

At the Met Gala, New York’s most sought-after invitation, Karolina Kurkova wore a Marchesa dress that was powered by IBM Watson to react to social media sentiment in real-time.

The “Cognitive Dress” was covered in LED embedded fabric flowers that lit in colors to reflect joy, passion, excitement, encouragement and curiosity, as expressed on twitter.

While name of the dress is deceiving, as it did not “think” on its own, the statement represents the mainstreaming of wearable technology and cognitive computing.  Most interesting was the analysis and translation of tweets into emotional statistics, which were represented in the LED-responsive fabric.

Click to view IBM video


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

 

Lung function analyzed via phone, from anywhere

Mayank Goel and University of Washington colleagues have developed SpiroCall, a system that measures lung function by analyzing a caller’s voice via smartphone, landline or payphone microphone.

An algorithm uses the phone microphone as an uncalibrated pressure sensor.  Captured audio is converted into an estimate of the flow-rate of air exiting from a patient’s mouth.

Lung function estimates are provided despite varying audio quality. One second of silence before the start of the test gauges ambient noise levels. If it is too noisy, a patient is asked to move, or to call back at another time.

SpiroCall’s results were 6.2 percent less accurate than hospital spirometers.  While not perfect, this solution could save many lives in areas where regular doctor visits are not possible.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Vision enhancing, injectable smart lens

Google has filed a patent for a vision enhancing, injectable smart lens. The “intraocular device” is meant to replace one’s natural lens, and focus light onto the eye’s retina. It is injected into the eye in a solution that congeals and attaches to the lens capsule.   It will contain its own storage, and tiny radio components that will communicate with an external processor. An energy harvesting antenna will power the device wirelessly.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences