Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Clinical Augmented Reality Evaluation of Patient Brain Activation in Real-Time

Technology #7010

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Alexandre Dasilva
Managed By
Drew Bennett
Associate Director - Software Licensing 734-615-4004

Clinical exam doctors investigate a patient’s body for signs of disease or trauma, however when trying to get information about pain or emotional experiences (such as anxiety), the doctor must rely on the patient’s ability to communicate which becomes a problem if the patient cannot communicate verbally or with writing (such as being unconscious or having a mental disability). Measuring brain activity in real-time can give insight into patient experiences except that the way this data is navigated and understood has proven difficult. The disclosed technology is an augmented reality based platform that combines brain scans with patient imagery in real-time to provide the clinician with a better insight into the patient experience by displaying an information-filled view of the patient. The global market for medical imaging devices in 2013 was $32.9B and is projected to be $46.1B by 2018 with clinical/point-of-care applications being a large driver for growth.

How it Works

The disclosed technology uses novel software that matches data from brain activity diagnostics to an image of the patients in real-time. The initial brain scanning technology used is Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), which can monitor oxygen levels in the blood. This technique has the advantage over other imaging technology (such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Positron Emission Tomography) in that the data is read immediately, which will be conducive to augmented reality-based technologies. This platform technology can be used with a range of functional imaging techniques, including provision for future technology.


  • Monitor brain activity in real time in clinical, surgical, and rehabilitation environments
  • Tool to validate clinical methods that affect brain response
  • Monitor patient pain and anxiety in real-time, even if they cannot communicate it


  • Inexpensive
  • Non-invasive
  • Platform technology
  • Future proof