Having a Brain Wave? The Potential of Consumer Brain Monitoring Devices in Clinical Trials.

Posted on by Thought Wired
By Bill Byrom, PhD | Published on Applied Clinical Trials on Apr 30, 2015

Key points

The growth in wearable technology applied to the personal health and wellness market is facilitating the measurement of complex clinical endpoints that previously have only been possible at clinic. The sophistication and price-acceptability of home EEG monitoring devices is increasing and providing a real opportunity for their large scale use by consumers and in clinical research. As usage grows, so does the depth of brain profile data collected across the population of healthy individuals and across a range of disease states. Like cognitive function test batteries, this accumulating wealth of population data provides a powerful knowledge bank of normative data that can help to provide reference data, provide meaningful context of treatment-related effects, and improve early diagnosis of certain disorders. Very soon, brain profiles of health and illness will be much better understood through large-scale cloud databases of EEG, and individuals will benefit from improved diagnostic criteria and treatment protocols.

Collecting EEG data using portable headbands makes the home monitoring of brain activity a real possibility in large scale clinical trials. This may have immediate application in the study of epilepsy and the measurement of sleep quality and staging in a variety of therapeutic areas. As brain profiles for different disease states are better known and characterised, mobile EEG data may enable the identification of additional objective measurements that can importantly assist in the objective assessment of new drugs for depression, anxiety and other CNS disorders.

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