Portable and Wireless Monitors Becoming A Boon To Brain Monitoring Devices Global Market

The Brain is the most complex and commanding organ within the human nervous system, which receives signals from the sensory organs and responds to stimulus. Any variation in these signal transmission leads to disturbed neural and electrical activity of the brain resulting in various neurological disorders. The altered activities are analyzed using brain monitoring devices. These devices are used to locate or diagnose the altered neurons, structures and functions of the brain and the cause associated with neurological conditions. Brain monitoring devices can be grouped into structural imaging devices consisting of conventional CT and MRI systems used in a larger scale to diagnose the disorders like tumor and injury. The second group is functional imaging devices, where advanced monitors like Electroencephalography (EEG), Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Intracranial Pressure Monitors (ICP) and Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD), oximeters and PET devices are adapted to detect Alzheimer’s disease and other psychiatric behavioral disorders.

Electroencephalography (EEG) device measures the electrical activity generated by the various cortical layers of the brain, whereas, magnetoencephalography (MEG) device maps the magnetic fields generated by neural activity within the brain. Similarly, Transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) measures the intensity and velocity of the blood flow through the brain’s blood vessels, cerebral oximeters are used to measure the regional cerebral oxygen saturation within the brain and with Intracranial Pressure monitors (ICP) the intracranial pressure within the skull is analyzed specially while treating severe traumatic brain injury patients. In addition to this, sleep monitoring devices are considered to be another set of brain monitoring devices used to understand the person’s sleep physiology and track sleep with the aim of finding different sleep patterns and correlations to person’s behaviors.

Among the advanced monitors, portable electroencephalographic device is the most common type of diagnostic device that is gaining popularity globally due to its non-invasiveness, portability, higher time resolution measurement (12.5 microseconds), elimination of exposure to high-intensity magnetic fields, shorter measurement (monitoring) period, noise avoidance and less hardware cost. In the near future, demand for cerebral oximeter is expected to grow due to its ability to monitor oxygenation level of frontal cerebral continuously and non-invasively using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) technology.

Wireless monitors are the devices that do not require wired connections or cord for diagnosis purpose. Nowadays, wireless headsets allow readings to be done completely in a non-invasive way and also assess patients from the comfort of their home. Wireless technology mainly allows the recording device to be detached from the computer, and communicate through wireless signals to computer from a distance of up to 10 or sometimes 20 meters. They are simple, affordable, comfortable to wear and are powered by a single AAA battery. Portable brain monitoring devices are the light-weight, easy to carry and are handheld devices. Portable systems have small profile, simple to use and as the technology continues to develop, these systems will be mostly used in point-of-care applications. Portable devices fit in almost any clinical situation like the emergency department, bedside, critical care units and remote locations. For instance, Cadwell’s Easy Ambulatory EEG system is a highly portable device that provides great patient comfort and collects accurate, reliable EEG data which is indistinguishable from data collected in a clinic or long term monitoring unit.

The shift today towards lower cost devices enabling the use brain monitors out of the lab, the increasingly small size of the electronics and wireless technologies such as Bluetooth are the major factors driving portable and wireless devices market. With electronics shrinking in size and weight, brain monitors instead of being housed in a huge heavy casing which requires two hands to lift, nowadays are fitted with a headset or cap.

Advancements and newer technologies like portable EEG and home care wireless sleep monitoring devices are revolutionizing brain monitoring devices market. Portable EEG devices are replacing conventional fixed EEG devices due to easy accessibility, low cost, efficiency and comfort to the patient during procedures. In August 2013, Emotiv launched Emotiv Insight which is a faster next generation wireless EEG device popular for collecting the real-time data of the user and delivers data to the computer or phone. Actigraphy a non-invasive way of monitoring human rest/activity cycles is by far the most common method used in personal sleep tracking devices. A Paris-based startup called Rythm, have developed Dreem headband that can help patient sleep better. The headband is the first active wearable device laden with EEG sensors that monitor brain activity and stimulates the brain with sound to enhance the quality of sleep. Apart from this, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois have developed a new type of electronic tiny brain implants/chip about a size of rice grain which dissolves over the span of period. This device monitors the intracranial pressure, temperature and epileptic spikes.

Similarly, brain tissue oxygen monitors are the recent advancements in brain monitoring devices which measure the pressure of the oxygen in interstitial space of the brain and reflects the availability of oxygen for oxidative energy production. Licox system from Integra and Neurovent system from Raumedic are the two brain tissue oxygen tension monitors. As the world is advancing with portable devices, like PET helmet, a miniaturised version of the hospital PET scanner is being used for rapid brain injury assessments of stroke victims. Another new technology which is recently patented is portable MRI (from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US). According to Julie Brefczynzki-Lewis of West Virginia University, this MRI scanner is of the size of a football helmet and is advanced so that one can wear it on the head. In addition to the structural diagnosis of the brain, this new MRI can provide information on the functional changes of the brain. Similarly, on April 2016 FDA approved two new Siemens MRI applications (for Magnetom Aera and Magnetom Skyra systems)–Simultaneous Multi-Slice application and GoBrain application. These two applications facilitate in the faster scanning of the brain and GoBrain helps improve patient throughput and potentially reduce costs per scan. According to IQ4I analysis, the Brain Monitoring Devices global market is expected to grow at a mid-single digit CAGR to reach $10,011.5 million by 2023.

Emotiv Lifesciences (U.S.), Neural Analytics Inc (U.S.), Neurovigil Inc (U.S.), BrainScope (U.S.), Nonin Medical Inc (U.S.), ResMed (U.S.), Cleveland Medical Devices Inc. (U.S.) and Nox Medical (Iceland) are few companies manufacturing portable brain monitoring devices.

Some of the prominent players in brain monitoring devices market include Advanced Brain Monitoring (U.S.), Cadwell Laboratories (U.S.), CAS Medicals Inc. (U.S), Compumedics Limited (Australia), Electrical Geodesics Incorporated (U.S.), Elekta AB (Sweden), GE Healthcare (U.S.), Integra Lifesciences (U.S.), Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Netherland), Masimo corporation (U.S.), Medtronic (Ireland), Natus Medical Inc.(U.S.), Nihon Kohden Corporation (Japan) and Siemens Healthineers (Germany)


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