Open Access Original Research

Technical and clinical analysis of microEEG: a miniature wireless EEG device designed to record high-quality EEG in the emergency department

Ahmet Omurtag1, Samah G Abdel Baki1, Geetha Chari2, Roger Q Cracco3, Shahriar Zehtabchi4, André A Fenton5 and Arthur C Grant6*

Author Affiliations

1 Bio-Signal Group, 760 Parkside Avenue, Ste 206, Brooklyn, NY, 11226, USA

2 Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, USA

3 Department of Neurology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, USA

4 Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, USA

5 Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York and Department Physiology & Pharmacology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, USA

6 Departments of Neurology, and Physiology & Pharmacology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, USA

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International Journal of Emergency Medicine 2012, 5:35  doi:10.1186/1865-1380-5-35

Published: 24 September 2012

Abstract

Background

We describe and characterize the performance of microEEG compared to that of a commercially available and widely used clinical EEG machine. microEEG is a portable, battery-operated, wireless EEG device, developed by Bio-Signal Group to overcome the obstacles to routine use of EEG in emergency departments (EDs).

Methods

The microEEG was used to obtain EEGs from healthy volunteers in the EEG laboratory and ED. The standard system was used to obtain EEGs from healthy volunteers in the EEG laboratory, and studies recorded from patients in the ED or ICU were also used for comparison. In one experiment, a signal splitter was used to record simultaneous microEEG and standard EEG from the same electrodes.

Results

EEG signal analysis techniques indicated good agreement between microEEG and the standard system in 66 EEGs recorded in the EEG laboratory and the ED. In the simultaneous recording the microEEG and standard system signals differed only in a smaller amount of 60 Hz noise in the microEEG signal. In a blinded review by a board-certified clinical neurophysiologist, differences in technical quality or interpretability were insignificant between standard recordings in the EEG laboratory and microEEG recordings from standard or electrode cap electrodes in the ED or EEG laboratory. The microEEG data recording characteristics such as analog-to-digital conversion resolution (16 bits), input impedance (>100MΩ), and common-mode rejection ratio (85 dB) are similar to those of commercially available systems, although the microEEG is many times smaller (88 g and 9.4 × 4.4 × 3.8 cm).

Conclusions

Our results suggest that the technical qualities of microEEG are non-inferior to a standard commercially available EEG recording device. EEG in the ED is an unmet medical need due to space and time constraints, high levels of ambient electrical noise, and the cost of 24/7 EEG technologist availability. This study suggests that using microEEG with an electrode cap that can be applied easily and quickly can surmount these obstacles without compromising technical quality.

Keywords:
Electroencephalography (EEG); EEG technology; EEG machine; Signal analysis; Emergency department