Europlatform I-Brain using the technology of the blockchain is the best innovative project of Russia. This was stated by the representatives of Vnesheconombank. The project helps paralyzed people to get back to normal life.
How innovative nanoplatforms and what role in her work plays with the technology of the blockchain, the correspondent Bits.media said the representative of the Center for innovation in neuroscience, University of tel Aviv (Israel), Director of project I-Brain, candidate of technical Sciences Konstantin Sonkin.
Constantine, where began the history of the project I-Brain?
Eight years ago I was with my supervisor chose the topic for her doctoral thesis. Then we had the idea to use the latest developments in the field of artificial intelligence for pattern recognition signals intelligence natural. To accomplish this task, we gathered a group of experts. It included prominent neuroscientists, physicians, economists, sales professionals and, of course, talented programmers. Then began a diligent and meticulous work on the project.
What is neuroblastoma?
I-Brain is a set of interface and algorithms of the software. The neural interface is the hardware register read brain signals, and the algorithm of software detects these signals, making imaginary movements of the patient in real. Imagine a man who can’t move. Despite this, he can represent the movement of a particular part of your body. This is what imagined motion detects and recognizes our interface. The mission of the I-Brain — to help people immobilized as a result of stroke or other traumatic brain injuries to regain the ability to move. We are trying to do this through the implementation of digital output of a brain of the patient. We believe that the digital output will be able to return the immobilized person to a normal life. That is, we are working to team of the patient’s brain can control digital intelligent systems.
How to construct the platform from a technical point of view?
Europlatform consists of four blocks. The first is the registration of electroencephalographic signals. It occurs with the help of specialized electrodes which are placed on the surface of the patient’s head, and miniature mobile encephalograph, which records the electrical activity of the brain, passing information to the computer via Bluetooth. The second block is responsible for data analysis. At this stage, the information obtained is analyzed using electrophysiological methods, they are implemented as machine-learning algorithms. That is, the computer on the basis of the data passed to it implements the analysis of the input EEG data, and extracts characteristic features for specific actions which the person imagines in his brain. In the third phase, these extracted characteristic features are passed to the classification system. The classifier is an artificial intelligence, it is implemented in the form of ensemble of artificial neural networks which are trained to recognize a specific class of movements: compression of the brush right or left hand, the movement of the fingers. And the last block is the managing. In real time on the basis of the detected signal is the management of specialized rehabilitation programs on the computer. Time delays — less than 500 milliseconds, which provides binding in the brain of a patient of his intentions, the attempts of the movement and the result he sees on the computer screen.
What is the purpose of primeneniya blockchain in nanoplatforms?
Blockchain is the technology that we have no right to study and apply them to our platform. Distributed because the registry has begun a new era of information storage.
First, the blockchain ensures the reliability of data and their reliability. This is an important consideration not only Finance, but also with biomedical data. Information in a distributed registry no one else can forge or modify. Storing data in the blockchain is transparent, impossible to secretly use the information in the system and everyone knows who is responsible for the placement, publication and storage of these data.
Secondly, the blockchain makes innovative methods of health care available for professionals from all over the world. We are constantly improving methods of artificial intelligence, success is 90% depends on how we have accumulated the data and how well was able to save them, without violating the laws and the rights of the people to keep their personal data. Therefore, the block chain helps us not only to develop the power of artificial intelligence, but also to make such data available to many developers, thereby spurring the development of Neurotechnology.
Third, the blockchain enables scientists and programmers to exchange data. This is very important, because every specialist in this field with great difficulty, records and stores in its small database small amounts of information. This limits the overall development of the industry. There are many encephalographic databases, but access is restricted.
So when we see that europlatform able to work on an industrial scale, we shall attract to our team with more experts on the blockchain, and put before them the task of ensuring reliable and safe, suitable new regulatory requirements, storage of medical information.
Konstantin, I know that you have created under the ICO project. Tell us for what purpose you will spend the funds raised?
We will forward received during the ICO funds to address a number of problems. First, we will improve the algorithms and software core europlatform. Secondly, the money we will continue to develop application software and technical upgrade of the I-Brain. Thirdly, the funds will give us the opportunity to continue the study of brain activity in the motion control. Finally, we want to scale our business model. We plan to form a local team and start selling in different countries. And of course, we need money for the legal defense of the project, you need to obtain the necessary certificates and to prepare the permits.
Where already used in development?
We use the neural interface for academic research. We also started to work with patients. In a month we are launching a large-scale clinical trials in one of the largest rehabilitation clinics of Saint-Petersburg city hospital #40. We will test under the supervision of the chief physiotherapist of the city. Next, we plan to monitor the brain function of healthy people. This will help you understand cognitive load on the human brain and to warn of possible overload.
What difficulties have you faced on the way of project implementation?
Difficulties following us everywhere and in everything.
First, the government understands the importance of innovative and applied activities. Unfortunately, the country is underdeveloped culture of venture capital investment in a heavy high-tech projects. All this hinders the development of innovative entrepreneurship in Russia. Our foreign colleagues receive grants in the millions of dollars and we are struggling to grant at least a million rubles.
Second, our development slows down existing legislation. I believe that medical institutions should cease to regulate non-drug treatment of patients. That is, the rehabilitation must be in one plane with those procedures that do not require a special license, such as a massage. The state should not be held responsible for the rehabilitation of patients so overloaded with doctors who barely have time to save really seriously ill people.
Are there similar projects abroad?
Of course, there are. About twenty of the leading laboratories in the United States, Europe and Russia have been developing the interfaces «brain-computer». However, only 2-3 lab has conducted pilot testing on patients. All these projects are slightly different from each other. For example, our nanoplatforms able to recognize a greater number of movements than others. Also, our system can use at home because it’s portable, wireless and produces rehabilitation in a form understood by each patient.
At what stage is implementation in Russia compared to other countries?
Overall, we keep up with the world. That is no way. Ahead of the rest — Austria and the USA, where these technologies are already being introduced, and the insurance companies cover the costs. I must say that the driver of innovation is exactly the insurance company. They tend to reduce the cost of lifelong support for immobilized people. So if there are new technologies that can reduce the recovery time of the patient or to increase its effectiveness, first pay for it the insurance company. Unfortunately, in Russia, the insurers are not so closely watching innovations like their Western counterparts.