Wearable Brain Scanner Technology
A new type of wearable brain scanner is revealing new possibilities for understanding and diagnosing mental illness after the technology has been expanded to scan the whole brain with millimeter accuracy.
Scientists from the University of Nottingham developed an initial prototype of a new generation of brain scanner in 2018 which is a lightweight device that can be worn on the head like a hat, and can scan the brain even whilst a patient moves. Their latest research has now expanded this to a fully functional 49 channel device that can be used to scan the whole brain and track electrophysiological processes that are implicated in a number of mental health problems. Their findings have been published in Neuroimage.
This new whole head scanner unlocks a hots of new possibilities, like scanning children (who find it hard to keep still) or scanning epileptic patients during seizures to understand the abnormal brain activity that generates those seizures.
Reference: Hill RM, et al. Multi-Channel Whole-Head OPM-MEG: Helmet Design and a Comparison with a Conventional System. NeuroImage, 2020; 116995