A proof of concept evaluation of the electroencephalophone as a discriminator between wakefulness and general anaesthesia

Glen, J., Porr, B. , Hamilton, R. and Tait, L. (2013) A proof of concept evaluation of the electroencephalophone as a discriminator between wakefulness and general anaesthesia. British Journal of Anaesthesia, (doi: 10.1093/bja/aet067)

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Background Depth of anaesthesia (DOA) monitors based on the electroencephalogram (EEG) are commonly used in anaesthetic practice. Their technology relies on mathematical analysis of the EEG waveform, generally resulting in a number which corresponds to anaesthetic depth. We have created a novel method of interpreting the EEG, which retains its underlying complexity. This method consists of turning the EEG into a sound: the electroencephalophone (EEP). Methods In a pilot study, we recorded awake and anaesthetised EEGs from 6 patients. We transformed each EEG into an audio signal using a ring buffer with a write frequency of 1KHz and a read frequency of 48KHz, thus elevating all output frequencies by a factor of 48. In essence, the listener hears the previous 12 seconds of EEG data compressed into 250ms, updated every 250ms. From this data we generated a bank of 5-second audio clips, which were then used to train and test a sample of 23 anaesthetists. Results Following training, 21/23 anaesthetists were able to use the EEP to correctly identify the conscious state of greater than 5 out of 10 randomly selected patients (p<0.001). The median score was 8 out of 10, with an interquartile range of 7-9. Conclusions The EEP shows promise as a DOA monitor. However, extensive validation would be required in a variety of clinical settings before it could be accepted into mainstream clinical practice.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hamilton, Dr Roderick and Porr, Dr Bernd
Authors: Glen, J., Porr, B., Hamilton, R., and Tait, L.
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:British Journal of Anaesthesia
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Published Online:26 March 2013

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