NeuroTech: Smart earphones to Detect Epilepsy and Map Stress Levels in Brain

Stress is a part of life and in the last 10 to 15 years lifestyle changes have resulted in increased stress that makes it imperative to have a system that is monitored regularly at a personal level. Pertaining to the very same reason, we decided to create NeuroBuds- a product that is meant to be integrated into one’s daily routine so as to have a broader insight on one's health. A simple thought inspired an innovation to deal with stress levels of the brain; a phenomenon that affects everyone without exception.

Concerning the Digital Indian Mission, we decided to design a product to improve the healthcare infrastructure with the help of smartphones.

Hence, we created an automated panic detection wearable earphone for detecting stress levels. The idea was based on the principle that sharp changes occurred in the brain when a user panicked and through these signals, the app built alongside the smart sensor based earphones delivered the required output.

In a time when the working population suffers from stress related issues and sleeping disorders due to a fast paced lifestyle, NeuroBuds can be of great help. The App maps the stress level of the user and suggests remedial measures to calm down.

The results are saved up to run analytics and find patterns in user behavior to achieve long term results for these stress related issues. NeuroBuds serves as the perfect link between the user and the smartphone to monitor body vitals including heartbeat.

Working with brain waves and researching deep into the field, we came across the idea of NeuroBuds- a smart earphone that tracks brain activity to help understand the user’s state of mind, stress, and sleep patterns. We found this served as the perfect link between the user and smartphone to monitor body vitals, even the ones that the best smart watches fail to address.

The Intel & DST- Innovate for Digital India Challenge 2.0 Shaped Our Entrepreneurial Capabilities

The Challenge helped take up our idea and convert it into a full-fledged product. Our product was created with the help of specially fabricated sensors that are integrated into the architecture of an earphone along with the Intel® Curie Module. The module’s form factor and power requirements helps us not deviate from the ergonomics of a earphone. The earphones works alongside a mobile app that analyses the data with algorithms to churn out accurate results.

Once the application has enough data coming in from different users, it can recognize patterns and optimize algorithms on its own using the underlying neural network.

The mentorship and the resource that we had access to as part of Intel & DST Innovate for Digital India Challenge 2.0 were truly priceless. The program not only helped shape our product but also made us consider market trends as entrepreneurs, and innovators.

The program gave a sense of validation. The feedback from people who had already built similar products and experienced its lifecycle was a great learning experience. Our product aims at aiding rural healthcare by improving the healthcare infrastructure with the help of smartphones.

As part of the program, we met people who worked closely with rural communities and understood the important ground realities for better decision making.

To be just out of college and compete with the best entrepreneurs in the country was an unparalleled experience. We were heavily bootstrapped and getting into the program cleared the barriers faced by us, for instance the marketing of our product. We were highly ecstatic after getting selected in the top 10 participants.

The Mentors Transformed Our Idea into an Actual Product

The mentors played a significant role in shaping our idea into a real product. The first week at the Boot camp, T-Hub, Hyderabad was a great learning experience. The team helped us understand the ground realities of the business. We were provided with a formal crash course on running a company in the Silicon Valley way.

The Tech team at T-Hub and Intel Makers Lab in Bangalore also streamlined our thoughts and ideas immensely. Their constant support and weekly review helped solve our bottlenecks along the way. The mentoring sessions with Mr. Ashish Deshpande and his renowned Elephant Design team in Pune was a crucial turning point for improvising the product design.

The Larger Impact of our Innovation

Our vision is the wide spread and low cost availability of the device that enables remote early diagnosis for mental disorders.

We greatly believe in the vision that smartphones can bring a significant difference in aiding rural healthcare.

With the penetration of advanced telecommunication networks and smartphones in rural villages, a larger part of healthcare service can be eased up with the aid of such smarter technologies that can provide better treatment.

By integrating crucial health monitoring sensors to an everyday use device with the help of an earphone, the need for special external add-on hardware can be highly reduced. The sensor data can also be used to detect brain related issues like Epilepsy early and can help predict them for caution.