Improving brain stimulation devices for use in the home.
Dr Steven Miller (MPARC, Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre)
Dr Andrew Nunn (Monash Engineering)
Prof Daphne Flynn
Monash Institute of Medical Engineering
This project involves a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Monash Facility for Instrumentation and Technology Development (ITDF), and our medical partner Professor Paul Fitzgerald (Deputy Director of MAPrc, Professor of Psychiatry, and Consultant Psychiatrist at Alfred Psychiatry). The Engineering and Medical partners in this grant have designed a highly novel brain stimulation system with the aim to develop this as a non-implantable medical device.
The lead indication, building on the expertise of Prof Fitzgerald, will be in the treatment of patients with difficult-to-treat depression, a very common medical problem. The device should also have application in the treatment of a range of other conditions, for example chronic pain, tinnitus and stroke related motor and speech impairment.
After a successful application for research funding in the 2015, Professor Mark Armstrong along with his team at MADA Health Collab became involved in the design and development of the Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) wearable device. The device has a number of characteristics that facilitate ease of use. The critical challenge was to humanise the technology, to create a non threatening wearable that provides a platform for the technology while at the same time overcoming issues relating to vectors of force and electrical conductivity.