Inspiration

Empathy is difficult even in an ideal situation. Often we misunderstand what reaction our words caused in a friend or family member. This is also a particularly sensitive area for those undergoing therapy or the professionals treating them. Allowing to sense stimulation through a remote medium aims to reduce the stigma around therapy, while allowing a professional to access detailed diagnostic brain information. Video chat support allows for an added personal touch and to utilize classical therapeutic techniques.

What it does

The project implements video chat via Twilio and uses a Muse headband to sense one user (the patient)'s brainwaves, while recording audio from the side of the other (the mental health professional). After the conclusion of a conversation a breakdown of short phrases, which caused the largest stimulation or surpression of brainwave activity.

How I built it

The clients are built in JavaScript and Swift, while the two servers are built in Node.JS and Python with Flask. One server handles data storage and connection, while the other analyzes the brainwave reading and speech data.

Challenges I ran into

Text to speech is a particularly difficult problem and cutting audio into multiple small pieces was difficult to implement in a straightforward way. Synchronizing data flow between client and server was also a specific challenge.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Succeeding in implementing experimental technology into a potentially useful hack.

What I learned

An array of different technologies and the potential therapeutic uses of a Muse headband.

What's next for BuzzWords

Investigate academically the usefulness of brainwave-sensing technology in mental health

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