The recurring activity primarily in the sensory cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala, due to anxiety episodes is done through a discreet headband which contains electroencephalographic (EEG) electrodes detects neural impulses. These signals are transmitted wirelessly to the program which analyzes the collected data – the program evaluates the rate of activation of the sensory cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. Based on these findings, the mobile application provides appropriate treatment options that can be customized to suit individual needs, classified based on predefined symptoms, experiences, current coping mechanisms, etc. to better equip patients with effective management techniques (as seen in app calibration – please refer to mockup). When the rate of anxiety episodes is personally too high, immediate medical attention is sought after (call to emergency medical care, the family physician is informed, and urgent coping strategies provided).
Since contacting a medical professional immediately in times of need is not always plausible, artificial intelligence, specifically Natural Language Processing (NLP) is channeled to provide immediate and dynamic treatment through personal interaction, how a medical doctor would. With previously acquired data based on the patient’s medical history, NLP will be able to help individuals immediately when needed which can prevent traumas like self-harm/suicide.
Such technology is critical as many individuals affected by mental health conditions struggle to effectively communicate with professionals which can lead to the condition worsening and possibly leading to irreversible decisions. A tragic personal experience motivates me to develop this solution to prevent fatal decisions, especially in our future leaders.
What inspired you (or your team)?
My grandfather was everything I ever wanted to be since the tender age of 4. He was the most caring human being on the planet, was the most intelligent and artistic, and was the role model that I saw to be flawless and irreplaceable in my life. He immigrated to Canada after the civil war in Sri Lanka where he was shot, suffered three heart attacks, and yet provided for his family better than anyone. The biggest lesson I learned from him was his resilience and will to constantly help those around him – not one day in his life did he live for himself, it was always for his family. He never failed to treat me like his own child and always did everything I asked for. Until one day, when I was heading back from school in third grade and my mom came to pick me up, I had an odd sense of discomfort in my stomach based on the expressions of wincing pain on my mother’s face, her blatantly obvious attempts to conceal her emotions in public. I knew something was wrong and as soon as I returned home, I was looking for my grandfather, who’s arms I always leap into after school awaiting for his kiss and tell him how my day went. But today, he was on the floor in the middle of the living room, laying there tremoring, wheezing and moaning in pain. I immediately broke into tears and wasn’t able to find out what was going on from anyone in their panicked stage. Within what seemed like a matter of seconds, the paramedics stormed in, performed first aid, and took him away. The only thing I remember vividly is my seven-year-old self bawling and praying to all the Gods that existed to save my grandfather because he was the one person on the planet that I loved the most.
That evening, I had learned that my grandfather had passed due to a drug overdose which was incited by the constant anxiety and depression he experienced that he hid from me – this was likely caused by the PTSD from the Sri Lankan civil war as well as other professional pressure he experienced in an executive position at x.
And with my current research and experimentation in neuroscience, specifically brain-computer interfaces and artificial intelligence, I was inspired to find a solution to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues like my grandfather’s, to prevent secondary conditions and resultant deaths. I am motivated to ensure that no other human being experiences the tragedy of losing such an intimate loved one and the agony associated with it. I wasn’t even allowed to say goodbye to my grandfather which remains one of my biggest regrets and worst pains in my entire life.