New wireless epilepsy monitor invented by Rice University students has earned them the first prize in a student competition conducted at the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems in Sapporo, Japan.
For patients suffering from intractable epilepsy, the novel epilepsy monitor provides them more freedom to move.
After the Axon Mobile team members were named winners of the North American division, they were invited to contend against four other teams. The members included seniors Andres Gomez, Sophia D’Amico, Zhiyang Zhang, Benjamin Klimko, and junior Aidan Curtis, all electrical and computer engineering majors at the Brown School of Engineering of Rice University. The team created a unique instrument to collect signals from a patient’s brain and transmit them wirelessly for analysis.
Providing more freedom to patients with intractable epilepsy is the aim of the team. Currently, while these patients are being observed for seizures, they are tethered to a computer where they should remain until the computer obtains data from the wires inserted in their brains. Since medication does not work on these patients, the tiny parts of their brain where seizures originate are sometimes removed surgically. Although data collected during seizures help physicians to identify the location, the process can take as much as several weeks.
Competing teams were from Brazil, China, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Faculty members Gary Woods, a professor in the practice of computer technology and electrical and computer engineering, and Joseph Cavallaro, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of computer science, nominated the Rice University team for the Circuits and Systems Society regional competition. Cavallaro chairs the Houston chapter of the society and was in Japan with the group.
The student team was advised by Caleb Kemere, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University, and Dr Nitin Tandon, a professor of neurosurgery at the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Tracy Volz, a Rice University professor in the practice and director of the Engineering Communications Program, trained the students on their presentation.
Cavallaro informed that the students’ travel was funded by the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, the IEEE, Dean Reginald DesRoches, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Bybee Travel Fund, and Dr Tandon.
Video credit: Rice University