The electroencephalography (EEG) provides a very cost-efficient standard procedure for the diagnosis of numerous neurological diseases. However the analysis of the data remains time-consuming. Automatic procedures have not been circulating in clinics yet, since, to date, they were not able to fulfill the users’ needs. An important example is the long term monitoring of epilepsy patients.
The research field „Biosignal Processing” in the Center for Health & Bioresources concentrates on the development of new automatic analysis of EGG signals. We provide solutions in different areas of the electrophysiology:
With the automatic detection of seizures “EpiScan”, the spike detection “EpiSpike” as well as the AIT source localization “EpiSource” the AIT has developed a package of highly innovative systems for the automatic analysis of EEG signals during long-term recording for epilepsy diagnostics.
The analysis of seizures by “EpiScan” leads to a significant reduction of time and expenses by detecting and marking epileptic events automatically. Beside the important shortening of the review process, the risk of an unnoticed seizure of the patient is significantly reduced. “EpiScan” is the first seizure detection that is tested in the framework of prospective clinical studies. The spike detection “EpiSpike” renders possible a fast overview of the distribution of interictal discharges. In this way the diagnosing physician obtains a reliable overview as well as a quantifiable trend analysis within a few seconds. The AIT source localization “EpiSource” builds up on the two modules for seizure and spike detection and allows a quick source detection of spikes and ictal EEG activity. In doing so the source detection manages to go without user interaction and enables all neurologists to utilize this innovative method of EEG evaluation.
Through its automatic review system the AIT makes it possible to significantly increase the efficiency in the analysis of ambulant EEG. Through the new developments in the area of EGG recording systems, the ambulant EGG increasingly presents a cost-saving alternative to hospitalization. Since the manual review of up to 3000 EGG pages, every 24 hours, contributes decisively to the workload of the hospital staff. The AIT technology offers an automatic review here and helps in this way to reduce waiting time and expenses as well as to improve the quality of the analysis.
According to current studies, 18% of all patients with serious brain diseases in intensive care units suffer from undetected non-convulsive epileptic seizures, which can lead to permanent neurological disabilities. They are not clinically observable and can only be detected in a reliable way through long-term measurements of the EEG, which today, however, in this patient group are only carried out in exceptional cases. The automatic evaluation method of EEG signals developed at the AIT will make an important contribution to the improvement of the intensive patients’ surveillance. The system renders possible a quick automatic alarm in case of an epileptic seizure so that a specialist can be consulted immediately.
The operative monitoring is an integral part of many neurosurgical procedures today. A limiting factor is the long reaction time of these systems during surgical procedures. The data analysis system developed at the AIT can significantly reduce these reaction times and allows a quicker alerting of the surgeon. Up to now the reaction time of systems for the measurement of acoustic evoked potentials could be reduced to less than 30 seconds.