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Tuesday 19/03/2019

Wearable device can detect Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s using photonics technology
KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) -- National applied research and development (R&D) agency, MIMOS, has announced the imminent success of their research programme involving the applications of photonics technology as support tools for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. 

The photonics R&D team at MIMOS has developed a wearable brain-imaging device prototype called Alzheimer Headband, which can perform hemodynamic (blood flow) analysis on the brain.

Photonics is a branch of physics that deals with the applications of light (photon), especially as a medium for transmitting information.  

Using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) as core technology, the Alzheimer Headband is expected to emerge as an important complement to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan for early detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

MIMOS Chief Technology Officer Thillai Raj said MIMOS had started promoting the application of fNIRS in neuroscience, in particular for cognitive and tissue oxygenation study in Malaysia since 2014.

He said that work on the Alzheimer Headband is the first fNIRS-based Alzheimer’s study conducted in Malaysia. The agency is collaborating with Artinis Medical Systems, Netherlands on the usage of fNIRS in Neuroscience Cognitive study for Dementia-Alzheimer.

“Our team has come up with a novel method on data sampling collection procedure specifically in Alzheimer patient in Malaysia using fNIRS technology. We have also developed a standard operating procedure for fNIRS usage in Alzheimer case studies,” he said.

He said that Alzheimer Headband can give a more accurate analysis (as compared to the current standard of using questionnaires) as the fNIRS equipment can quantify the degree of Alzheimer’s disease in order to classify the Dementia classes or categories.

He said MIMOS had conducted initial clinical studies involving old folks from Rumah Seri Kenangan in Cheras where the researchers had gathered data, with ethical approval obtained from the Faculty of Health Science, UiTM Puncak Alam; Faculty  of Medicine UiTM Sungai Buloh and Community Welfare Department under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
Apart from UiTM, MIMOS has also started to team up with Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) to work on the application of fNIR for brain imaging.

“Due to its portability, flexibility, ease of use and low cost, the Alzheimer Headband can potentially be used as an alternative to MRI for early MCI screening,” Thillai Raj said.

MIMOS is looking for partners who are keen to further develop the system, he said.

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition where the patients suffer from memory loss due to brain cell malfunction. The condition is often associated with older people. 

To detect abnormalities within the brain, imaging techniques such as MRI, computed tomography (CT) scan, and electroencephalogram (EEG) are commonly used by doctors and neuroscientists.

The development of Alzheimer Headband is part of MIMOS’ work in medical and healthcare technologies, which also involves research in dental applications as well as in chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and neuro-degenerative diseases. 

For more information of the product, send an email to the research team at
About MIMOS Alzheimer Headband
MIMOS Alzheimer Headband is a wearable device which is placed on the forehead of the patient to monitor blood oxygenation related to brain function.  The device has four optical probe holders with 16 optical channels, which transmit signals to a computer via Bluetooth and WiFi. The lightweight and flexible nature of the device allows freedom for movements by the user during imaging process, thus making it ideal for use in adults, children and infants.
MIMOS is Malaysia’s national Applied Research and Development Centre. As a strategic agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), MIMOS contributes to transforming Malaysia’s industry through patentable technology platforms, products and solutions. Over the past 12 years, MIMOS has filed more than 2,000 Intellectual Properties in various technology domains and across key socio-economic areas. Serving a central role in Malaysia’s transformation journey and ICT Vision, MIMOS endeavours to create a culture of innovation by nurturing relationships with internal and external stakeholders, in the spirit of smart partnerships and inclusive growth models and strategies.  

Source: MIMOS Berhad

Name: Laurence Sebastian
Tel: +603 8995 5000 / +601 9236 4938



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