Thank you very much Yann for your kind response, I understand that you may be very busy with your team at this early development stage of Open Vibe.
Regarding myself, I'm not a medical scientist either, just someone with knowledge about database analysis only, and actually in other field of work, but became interested (as a hobby) in the EEG field from some time to this moment. Therefore, I'm just thinking about the useful possibilities of this brain imaging field as an outsider still at the present moment. I hope you may undestand my personal interest as you read the following.
Regarding the QEEG, it is a system mainly developed from the 70's to this day, thanks to which a computer can mathematically compare an EEG of a patient from whom is suspected a mental illness, to EEG databases in order to determine statistics regarding the probability that said person may have a brain based problem. The level of accuracy is very high, and has been demonstrated mainly with large amounts of patients with ADHD. The technology has been developed mainly in the New York University, institution that holds a database of someting like 20.000 QEEGs for reference. The EEG of a patient is compared to databases and patterns of "normal" EEGs and "typical abnormal" EEG's. In the case of ADHD it has been shown to be like 95% accurate in order to determine whether someone has the problem. For that particular illness that affects about a 5% of the world population, there have been reported 6 typical EEG sub types.
Other applications are identifying (I quote):
* normal vs. abnormal
* normal vs. depressed
* normal vs. primary degenerative dementia
* normal vs. schizophrenia
* normal vs. mild head injury
* normal vs. learning disability
* normal vs. ADHD
* ADHD vs. Learning Disability
* dementia vs. depression
* unipolar vs. bipolar depression
* To detect subtleties of other conditions that need to be recognized, evaluated, and treated.
There is a pressing need for a tool, such as the QEEG Neurometric report, that offers a powerful adjunct leading to more accurate and more scientifically measurable mental health information based on QEEG analysis. As we emerge from the "Decade of the brain" we have the opportunity of obtaining QEEG Neurometric reports that may help answer several implicit questions relating to the underlying neurophysiology:
* Which patients should receive drug treatment?
* Which patients should not?
* What class of drugs might most benefit the patient?
* What changes occur in the patient as the result of taking the medication?
* Whether global abnormalities may relate to intestinal dysbiosis and cortical toxicity.
* When the patient’s QEEG is consistent with HPA axis dysregulation. The QEEG in conjunction with patient history can provide valuable clues as to whether the aetiology is due to chronic toxicity from intestinal dysbiosis or food allergies or from trauma-related HPA hyperactivation.
* Such information guides further investigations and suggests which neurotransmitter system, serotonergic as opposed to dopaminergic/noradrenergic, should be targeted with either medication and/ or nutrient supplementation.
* What changes have taken place as a result of nutrient supplementation.
* Whether focal abnormalities are best redressed with neurothearapy.
Through the use of normative and discriminant databases, the quantification of EEG should prove to be of significant value in helping clinicians determine the underlying neurophysiology of the mental health problems of their patients and guide treatment more effectively.
The source that I used to extract this mentioned data is:
I know that you are a very busy person, but if one of these days you have a little bit of spare time, you may want to look at the following interesting video in youtube, where a doctor from the US army explains the potential use of QEEG for diagnosing the condition of soldiers with brain damage due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Head Injury, even within a battlefield hospital environment using portable handheld computers. They are currently developing research in this area. This may be a major medical breakthrough that may help many people in the world.
Well, here is my reflexion. I guess that if there is available free open source software like Open Vibe and EEGLab, it should be an important humanitarian and public health priority to look forward creating research and applications in this area. This is specially true now that companies like Emotiv are creating inexpensive EEG wireless dry sensor devices with 14 channels for just US$299. Anyhow, the mentioned company is selling them with raw eeg data extraction at research centers for about US$2.500, but there is currently a discussion in their forum where the developers are asking them to release the raw eeg data extraction for a smaller license fee. They have stated last week that they are still discussing the pricing issue internally. Currently, they plan to sell the devices for just games that use pre defined cognitive and emotional detections, using a set of proprietary algorithms that they developed.
Theoretically, this week the first devices are going to be delivered to the first customers (mostly developers), so it may be feasible to test the quality of said devices upon the review of said developers, even do if they may not have access to the raw eeg data.
In case that you aren't so updated, the specifications of said devices is:
Number of channels: 14 (plus CMS/DRL references, P3/P4 locations)
Channel names (International 10-20 locations): AF3, F7, F3, FC5, T7, P7, O1, O2, P8, T8, FC6, F4, F8, AF4
Sampling method: Sequential sampling. Single ADC
Sampling rate: 128 SPS (2048 Hz internal)
Resolution: 16 bits (14 bits effective) 1 LSB = 1.95μV
Bandwidth: 0.2 - 45Hz, digital notch filters at 50Hz and 60Hz
Filtering: Built in digital 5th order Sinc filter
Dynamic range (input referred): 256mVpp
Coupling mode: AC coupled
Connectivity: Proprietary wireless, 2.4GHz band
Battery life (typical): 12 hours
Impedance Measurement: Contact quality using patented system
Supposing that the Emotiv company releases the device with raw eeg data extraction at smaller prices, it may be a reasonable question to ask whether if in the future Open Vibe may become a viable software platform for EEG brain imaging in clinical environments, or even home based ambulatory? I know that probably there are a lot of medical quality compliances to deal with, and this may require a lot of technical resources, but what if this could be accomplished? How many people would benefit from this free open source humanitarian-medical development?
Some many more people may also be interested in knowing how is that this software and hardware combination may be beneficial for research, self exploration (meditation) and home based neurofeedback applications as well.
Regarding the same issue, it would be interesting to know your opinion. I know that it is a lot to think and discusss about, but certainly a project like Open Vibe has a huge potential for health and wellness developments if the proper coordination, collaboration and resources are present.
I just wanted to provide you this information in order to let you know about the current state of the situation, so if in upcoming times the issue requires your attention once again, it may be easier for you and your team to have a more clear picture about the possible path to follow.
At the present moment I may not be immediately interested in the patern recognition, but I'm sure than in a near future it would be useful to revisit that possibility, as well as other related developments.
Thanks for your time.