I have been writing quite often recently about how medical research is focusing more and more on the brain. There is yet another story that highlights this trend. But there is another, more intriguing aspect to the story that portends a different impact.

green eye

Via MedGadget, we learn that the company, NeuroVigil, has partnered with the American Senior Housing Association (ASHA) to gather data from thousands of volunteers on how sleep, diet, and other factors affect the aging brain. The company is going to use their iBrain portable neural monitor (a single-sensor device), coupled with high resolution and throughput algorithms they have developed, to monitor and collect data on normal, healthy individuals as they go about their routine. The importance of that aspect cannot be overstated. As highlighted in the article, “the data we will be generating in the 21st century will overwhelmingly come from outside the lab. It will be generated from asymptomatic humans as opposed to from diseased animals.” –  Dr. Philip Low, CEO and founder of NeuroVigil.

The explosion in wearable technologies evidenced by the plethora of health/fitness trackers that are on the market, as well as devices like the NeuroVigil monitor, point to Dr. Low’s prediction as having a high probability of being near-term fact. If you are involved in medical device design, this is a development you’ll want to keep an eye on.