Avatar and robot based games to treat social anxiety

AlterEgo is  an interdisciplinary collaboration that is investigating  a “new robotic-based clinical method” to help people suffering from social anxiety.  The scientists believe that lookalike avatars and robots can be a more comfortable interaction for patients, facilitating a more effective therapeutic experience.

According to project lead Krasimira Tsaneve-Atanasova: “This resemblance can be morphological (form of a person), behavioral (his actions), or kinematic (the way he moves).”

Click to view AlterEgo 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 Sciencces

PREFERRED REGISTRATION RATES AVAILABLE THROUGH 4/15

Implanted chip enables quadriplegic to move arm with thoughts

Battelle’s NeuroLife system has allowed a quadriplegic man to to make complex movements with his hand and fingers, using signals from his brain.

The breakthrough invasive device uses an artificial neural bypass that reroutes signals from the brain to the affected muscles. A tiny, 96 channel microelectrode array was implanted in the patient’s motor cortex. A cable port was positioned at the back of his head. The device taps into a few hundred motor neurons, providing enough information for the execution of basic physical tasks. A computer was then trained to understand the signals emitted by the motor cortex, resulting in the patient’s ability to move his hand with his thoughts.

Click to view Ohio State University 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

 

Voice, image,language identifying robot responds to human dialogue

Hitachi’s EMIEW3 robot, designed to provide customer service in commercial environments, could be an ideal companion for the elderly or disabled. Its “remote brain” allows it to identify voices, images and language in its surroundings (which it can process with background street noise).  AI enables it to  respond to human dialogue and avoid collisions.  It is light enough to lift,can move at 6km per hour,  and stand on its own if knocked over. A cosmetic LED-light “beating heart” makes the robot seem more human.


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

“Socially assistive” robot helps children learn

Tega is a “socially assistive” robot  that senses the emotional state of a learner, and based on those cues, creates a personalized motivational strategy.  It was developed by Cynthia Breazeal at MIT to enable long-term educational interactions with children. It uses an AFFDEX Android device with emotion/facial expression recognition software by Rosalind Picard‘s Affectiva, to process movement, perception and thinking, and can respond to individual children’s behaviors.

In a learning trial, the system mirrored the emotional response of students ­­— getting excited when they were excited, and distracted when they lost focus — and tracked the impact of each of these cues on the student. Over time, it learned how the cues influenced a student’s engagement, happiness, and learning successes. As the sessions continued, it personalized its responses to optimize each student’s experience.

Click to view MIT video.

Rosalind Picard will be a keynote speaker at NeuroTech NYC on June 8th.


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

 

 

VR + sound to control pain

In a recent study, York St. John University researchers have demonstrated the use of virtual reality headsets to control pain.  Discomfort was further reduced when sound was incorporated into the process.

In the experiment, a small group of adults submerged one hand in ice water while playing an Oculus VR  based game, with and with out sound.  While playing and hearing accompanying sounds, subjects could tolerate the discomfort for 79 seconds. With out sound, it was reduced to 56 seconds.  With out any VR support, they could tolerate the cold water for 30 seconds (on average).

If verified with a much larger group of subjects and a broader spectrum of pain/discomfort tested, this discovery could potentially bring a non-drug pain reducing method to individuals at home.


 

Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

 

 

Optical sensor could detect cancer, other diseases, earlier

Guiseppe Strangi and Case Western colleagues have developed a highly sensitive optical sensor, based on nanostructured metamaterials.  The researchers claim that is is 1 million times more sensitive than current sensors, and capable of identifying a single lightweight molecule in a highly dilute solution.  This could dramatically improve the detection of cancer and other diseases.

If doctors could detect a single molecule of an enzyme produced by circulating cancer cells, significantly earlier diagnosis is possible, which could dramatically improve one’s prognosis.

According to Strangi:”Very early, most circulating tumor cells express proteins of a very low molecular weight, less than 500 Daltons. These proteins are usually too small and in too low a concentration to detect with current test methods, yielding false negative results. With this platform, we’ve detected proteins of 244 Daltons, which should enable doctors to detect cancers earlier–we don’t know how much earlier yet.”


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

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

 

Study: Graphene patch monitors glucose, delivers insulin

MC10 and Seoul National University researchers, led by Dae-Hyeong Kim, have created a prototype skin patch that could both monitor blood glucose levels and administer insulin to diabetics.  This is the first time that monitoring and drug deivery have been combined.

The graphene and gold mesh patch measures humidity, glucose, pH, and temperature in sweat. While the technology has only been tested on mice, it has shown that it is able to reduce blood glucose levels.  We look forward to the results of human trials.

MC10 co-founder and VP of Technology Roozbeh Ghaffari is a featured speaker at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health conference on April 5th in San Francisco.  He will discuss the future of less invasive, more precise approaches to disease management.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

Peripheral nerve stimulation to enhance learning processes

DARPA is using peripheral nerve stimulation to enhance learning processes — challenging the idea that the brain tells the peripheral nervous system what to do.

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training seeks to advance cognitive skills training through the precise activation of peripheral nerves that can strengthen neuronal connections. Unlike many of DARPA’s previous  neurotech projects, it not only restore lost function, but seeks to advance capabilities beyond normal levels.

Program manager Doug Weber said: “Recent research has shown that stimulation of certain peripheral nerves, easily and painlessly achieved through the skin, can activate regions of the brain involved with learning. This natural process of synaptic plasticity is pivotal for learning, but much is unknown about the physiological mechanisms that link peripheral nerve stimulation to improved plasticity and learning. You can think of peripheral nerve stimulation as a way to reopen the so-called ‘Critical Period’ when the brain is more facile and adaptive. TNT technology will be designed to safely and precisely modulate peripheral nerves to control plasticity at optimal points in the learning process.”


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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-regulating heart patch combines electronics, living tissue

Tal Dvir and Tel Aviv University colleagues are in the early stages of developing a “bionic” heart patch, made of of electronically-regulated living tissue, that they believe can help the heart beat, and react when malfunction occurs.

The  patch is made of heart muscle cells, biomaterial, and nano-composite fibers that enable the engineered-tissue function to be monitored online. The extracellular matrix connects the cells chemically, mechanically and electrically. The tissue is integrated into a system that includes heart failure-managing algorithms.

The technology, while promising, has only been tested on rats.  It will be tested on pigs next, with the hope of humans to follow.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

Wrist-worn wearable detects Atrial Fibrillation, sends alerts

AliveCor is known for its FDA approved mobile EKG, which attaches to a phone or tablet.  The company has just announced  Kardia – an Apple Watch band that, when a sensor is pressed and paired with an app, can provide and accurate EKG, incorporate a user’s spoken symptoms into its analysis, and share data.  AliveCor said that the band and app can detect Atrial Fibrillation, which would be shared with a doctor immediately.

Click to view AliveCor video


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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