CSIRO's Data61 researchers develop AI helmet to prevent seizure disorders

The new device has been designed to detect brain seizures in patients after brain surgery.

New AI-powered helmet can monitor post-surgery seizure disorders

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) Data61 have developed an implantable artificial intelligence monitoring and seizure detection helmet system designed to prevent seizure disorders for patients who have undergone decompressive brain surgery.

The detection system has been developed and trained using traumatic brain injury data from Monash University to monitor brain activity for seizures while in standby mode before it is reactivated when a seizure is detected.

Data61 said using wireless communication, the helmet can transfer any collected data to a healthcare practitioner. 

According to CSIRO's Data61 researcher Dr Umut Guvenc, one in three Australians are likely to develop chronic epilepsy due to the high frequency of seizures and believe developing this new system could potentially reduce that number.

"Monitoring brain activity post-surgery is especially critical to a patient's recovery as seizures can regularly occur, often leading to patients developing epilepsy," he said.

"These seizures are often difficult to detect, with current monitoring techniques only able to be used in a hospital using bulky devices for less than 24 hours, providing a brief snapshot of brain activity during that time only.

"This new method can continuously monitor brain activity wirelessly, allowing the patient to be mobile, comfortable and more socially active."

See also: AI is helping get medical research into the hands of doctors and patients (TechRepublic)    

Data61 senior research engineer Peter Marendy added the helmet will enable clinicians to monitor brain activity in real-time, rather than rely on current bulky brain monitoring systems that only exist within hospital environments.

"Information provided by the implants can be used to inform clinicians about the patient's brain activity and inform decisions regarding the administering of drugs," he said.

"The combination of brain swelling, surgery timing, and patient outcome data will enable further study on the ideal time to perform a reconstructive cranioplasty to achieve the best patient outcome – research that will ultimately influence future medical decisions."

Data61 researchers will now work with Australian firm Anatomics to develop a "smart helmet" to monitor brain swelling in stroke and traumatic brain injury patients.

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