Kevin Wang (II) Competes in Global Conrad Challenge for Innovation
Last month, Kevin Wang, Class II, advanced to the finals of the 2022 Conrad Challenge, a global innovation competition for student entrepreneurs creating tools to change the world. Kevin and his team—a cross-continental trio who have called their product Diverge—won a top ten spot in the competition’s Cyber-Technology and Security category with their brain computer interface (BCI) and actigraph tool.
A BCI communicates brain activity with an external device—in this case, a mobile app—to track anything from rest to focus, productivity to stress. Diverge specifically aims to monitor the brain activity of individuals with bipolar disorder so that they can better understand their own condition and take a proactive role in their self-care. “The idea is to use actigraph data from a device like a FitBit to predict when a bipolar patient is about to have a manic episode,” Kevin explained. This could allow people to get ahead of their manic states, alert friends and family members, and monitor patterns in their bipolar disorder.
Those using Diverge could also use the live sharing of motor activity and EEG data to learn about their own focus and productivity. “Looking at the data at the end of the day,” Kevin explained, “people can see when they were most focused and learn more about their productivity.” Armed with information, those with bipolar disorder can feel more as though they are in the driver’s seat, as opposed to being driven by their mental health condition.
The finals of the Conrad Challenge will be held later this month at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Team Diverge will be competing against the other finalist teams in their category for the chance to be named Pete Conrad Scholars, a recognition that comes with services to support the patent process.