IEEE ICMA 2023 Conference
Plenary Talk 2

Hearables: From promoting general wellbeing to doctorless hospitals

Danilo P. Mandic, Ph.D.


Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Impeiral College London

Abstract: Commercial wellbeing, gaming applications and future health systems all require the means to assess the neural and physiological function of a user. Ideally, this should be achieved in a 24/7 fashion, in the community, and in a self-administered and unobtrusive fashion. Hearables, that is, in-ear sensing of neural function and vital signs, are such an emerging solution. Our current Hearables system is based on an earplug with embedded electrodes, optical, mechanical and temperature sensors. I will show how this can be can used to reliably measure the Electroencephalogram (EEG), Electrocardiogram (ECG), pulse, respiration, temperature, and behavioural cues. We also show that unlike standard wearables, such an inconspicuous Hearables earpiece benefits from the stable position of the ear canal with respect to vital organs, to provide robust recordings in everyday situations. We further demonstrate how combining data from multiple sensors within such an integrated wearable device improves both the accuracy of measurements and the ability to deal with artefacts in real-world scenarios. The unique ability to stream neural and physiological data in real time makes Hearables a promising solution for the integration with smart environments and in future eHealth.

Danilo P. Mandic is a professor in signal processing with Imperial College London, UK, and has been working in the areas of statistical signal processing, machine learning, and bioengineering. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and member of the Board of Governors of International Neural Networks Society (INNS). He has received five best paper awards in Brain Computer Interface, runs the Smart Environments Lab at Imperial, and has more than 500 publications in international journals and conferences. Prof Mandic has received the 2019 Dennis Gabor Award by the International Neural Networks Society (for outstanding achievements in neural engineering), and the President Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision at Imperial. He received the 2018 Best Paper Award in IEEE Signal Processing Magazine and the Outstanding Paper Award in IEEE ICASSP 2021. His work on Hearables appeared in IEEE Spectrum, MIT Technology Review and has led to several granted patents in this area.

The Robotics Society of Japan Kagawa University Kagawa University The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Japan Society for Precision Engineering The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System (HIT) State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System (HIT) University of Electro-Communications University of Electronic Science and Technology of China JiLin University