Biomedical Engineering

Rethinking NeuroTech Design Process by Prioritizing Inclusivity and Accessibility

November 12, 2021

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. ET

Virtual

Join us for Rethinking NeuroTech Design Process by Prioritizing Inclusivity and Accessibility, part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering Speaker Series.

Speakers

  • Sossena Wood, Presidential Post-Doctoral Fellow and Special Faculty, Biomedical Engineering
  • Pulkit Grover, Angel Jordan Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute

Abstract

Advances in neurotechnology are rapidly transforming not only healthcare but also other applications that reimagine how we interact with our world in years to come. The question we discuss in this talk is: will the fruits of these advances be available to and accessible by all? While neuroengineering systems continue to provide increasingly high resolution information, invasively and noninvasively, about the brain, there are important implicit assumptions which limit the technology to be equitably used. In this talk, we will discuss how we need to rethink the process of neurotechnology design where the conceptualization itself should consider inclusivity. We will share specific examples from our work to illustrate even decades-old neural interfacing techniques, such as EEG and fNIRS, are not designed for use by everyone, and what implications that could have had on the data we have collected, and on diagnoses and treatments of disorders. Specifically, these technologies do not work well today for individuals with coarse and curly hair and dark skin. Further, we will illustrate why identification and addressing of these important problems necessitates involvement of diverse stakeholders, especially so of the communities that are under-represented in science, engineering, and/or clinical practice. This talk will be a discussion to begin to have all citizens of our CMU community and beyond reimagine how we design and interact with neurotechnology and datasets as current and future scientists and innovators.

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