New Algorithm Can Track Mental Health Through Skin

New Algorithm Can Track Mental Health Through Skin

Lead researcher Rose Fagieh, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, has been developing the technology for seven years.

Researchers at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering are developing a wearable device that can monitor mental health.

Over the past seven years, Rose Fagieh, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, has developed a technology that measures a portion of brain activity directly related to a person's emotional state through the skin, specifically electrodermal activity (EDA).

EDA is an electrical phenomenon in the skin that changes depending on certain stressors. For example, pain, fatigue, or work-related stress can alter a person's EDA.

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According to a statement from New York University, Faqih and his former graduate student Rafiul Amin were able to develop, for the first time, a new inference engine capable of monitoring brain activity through the skin in real time and on a large scale. ladder. .

Details of this important task were recently published in the Computational Biology journal.

Eventually Faqih hopes to develop a device that can monitor the user's mental state and help them return to a more neutral state of mind when stressed.

According to the version, an example of how the device, called MINDWATCH, can do this is by playing relaxing music when the user is under severe work stress.

"Real-time estimation of autonomic nervous system activation from wearable devices opens up new opportunities to monitor and improve mental health and cognitive performance," said Faqih.

The new device has been tested on 26 healthy people and has been shown to reliably read brain signals and convert them into data in seconds.

According to Faqih, the device could have health benefits other than regulating a person's mental state.

The technology can be used to diagnose a diabetes complication called neuropathy or severe nerve damage that causes numbness, pain, or weakness.

Small nerves transmit brain impulses to various parts of the body, including those associated with conduction reactions in the skin.

EDA can be routinely measured on areas of the skin prone to neuropathy, such as the hands or soles of the feet, to see if the condition is present.

If the user suffers from neuropathy, these tiny nerves will not be able to transmit anything, so they will not activate the brain. Observing these changes in brain activity can help doctors determine how the disease is developing and how to best treat it.

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