Cumulus EEG Headset
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Healthcare & Medical Products
Terence Kealy (Industrial Designer), Sara Urasini (Industrial Wearables Designer), Eugene Canavan (Human Factors Expert), Bryan Murphy (Mechanical Engineer) Glyn Griffiths (Electronics Engineer) Eoin McNally (Industrial Designer), Ian McCullough (Cumulus Neuroscience Team), Giedrė Kaktytė (Cumulus Neuroscience Team), Mark Armstrong (Cumulus Neuroscience Team), Brian Murphy (Cumulus Neuroscience Team)
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
How might we revolutionise clinical trials in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases? Brain disorders, such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease, are a growing global challenge, but drug discovery and management of these Central nervous system (CNS) diseases are hampered by late diagnosis, poor stratification and difficulty in monitoring patients. With the ambition to develop faster, more effective tools to help solve the biggest healthcare challenges in those areas, the team set out to bring a medical grade EEG (recording of brain activity) monitoring platform to the home.
Lab-based headsets that offer EEG monitoring tend to have many heavy wires and cables in a cumbersome form in an effort to maximise their resolution. Cumulus aims to achieve lab-based resolution in a format that can be brought into the home and worn comfortably providing a unique combination of accuracy and accessibility.
How the brief was fulfilled
Making sure the 16 electrodes fitted to specific points of the head was challenging. We worked with a combination of real people and 3D scanned data of various head shapes and sizes to provide precise connection of the 16 electrodes to specific points of people’s heads. Through iterative prototyping, we devised a sizing strategy that would fit up to 98% of head sizes and shapes and developed an adjustability system within the headset to get that perfect fit.
It was important to optimise the electrodes functionality and comfort, regardless of head size, shape, or hair. Exploring various combinations of materials, profile and connection methods, the team designed a new innovative electrode solution. This process achieved robust contact across all sensors ensuring accuracy of the data. Proprietary AI-powered analytics then automatically evaluate the rich multi-dimensional data to rapidly generate meaningful insights for clinical trials.
Our aim was to create a solution that removed any friction and increased the likelihood of long-term engagement. To make the product more inviting, it takes cues from the garment industry as opposed to the medical or tech industry, hiding the advanced technology and giving users peace of mind. Soft, fabric cushioning makes it cosier to wear. Fabric and foams were selected that provided stretch for fit, foldability for optimal transport yet held their shape for easy wearability. Water resistant finishes on fabric were also explored to improve cleanliness and longevity.
Another challenge we faced was designing a solution suitable for larger scale manufacturing. After an intense research and development period with the client and technology partners, we came up with a solution to manage the wiring in a way that it can be easily manufactured. This significantly reduced the cost of making the headset and provides a neater solution aesthetically.
Sustainability principles influenced the design of the Cumulus headset. The wearable allows removal of the electrical parts from the textiles. That means it can be disinfected between participants in a clinical trial, and if anything breaks the whole headset doesn’t need replacing. This reduces the amount of waste produced and allows for reusability of high-cost parts.
Some technology needs to concealed within an approachable and human interaction. This seems like a winner."