Improving driving safety with alarms triggered by impending sleep state, detected via brain signals: Key Neurotech Patent #11

sleep state alarm

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 6,497,658

As men­tioned, we are fea­tur­ing a foun­da­tion­al Per­va­sive Neu­rotech patent a day, from old­er to new­er by issue date. Today we are shar­ing a 2002 patent core to the field of dri­ving safety.

U.S. Patent No. 6,497,658: Alarm upon detec­tion of impend­ing sleep state

  • Inventor(s): Michael F. Roizen, Lawrence J. Got­tlieb, Avery Tung
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: EEG
  • Issue Date: Decem­ber 24, 2002

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘658 patent presents EEG tech­nol­o­gy applied to the field of sleep, with an appli­ca­tion geared less towards improved sleep states and more towards increased vig­i­lance dur­ing awake but sleepy states that may be nec­es­sary for exam­ple with vehi­cle oper­a­tors. The back­ground of the spec­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly reviews relat­ed dis­clo­sures in the field of sleep vig­i­lance — both EEG and non-EEG based — and iden­ti­fies short­com­ings in the pri­or art that are addressed with teach­ings of the ‘658 patent. Such short­com­ings include aspects relat­ed to the lack of real-time wake­fu­le­ness mon­i­tor­ing and phys­i­cal appa­ra­tus­es that may be cum­ber­some to the wear­er of the device. Despite a spec­i­fi­ca­tion with only one page of illus­tra­tions (that has two fig­ures) and only four pages of writ­ten mate­r­i­al, the pre­sen­ta­tion of an impor­tant EEG appli­ca­tion (e.g., wake­ful­ness vig­i­lence) and sev­en inde­pen­dent claims (out of a total of 22 claims) are amongst the fac­tors mak­ing the ‘658 patent a key non-inva­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy patent.


The present inven­tion mon­i­tors a phys­i­o­log­i­cal process intrin­sic to humans and which mea­sures direct­ly the approach of a sleep state. When sleep onset is detect­ed, the sub­ject is restored to a ful­ly awake state by an alert mech­a­nism. Sleep onset is deter­mined by mon­i­tor­ing EEG and EMG sig­nals of the sub­ject with a bi spec­tral index mon­i­tor and apply­ing an analy­sis algo­rithm to the index val­ues out­put by the mon­i­tor. As a per­son tires, the val­ue of their bi spec­tral index begins to drop and then oscil­late back and forth between two dis­crete lev­els. This pat­tern is con­sis­tent among var­i­ous sub­jects and indi­cates an ear­ly warn­ing of impend­ing sleep, before a dan­ger­ous loss of vig­i­lance has occurred.

Illus­tra­tive Claim 1. A method of detect­ing sleep onset and pre­vent­ing sleep, the method comprising:

  • plac­ing a plu­ral­i­ty of con­tact leads on a sub­ject that detect elec­troen­cephalo­gram (EEG) data;
  • trans­mit­ting the EEG data to a pro­cess­ing device;
  • ana­lyz­ing the EEG data for a sleep onset con­di­tion by deriv­ing numer­i­cal index val­ues indica­tive of wake­ful­ness of the sub­ject and assess­ing at least one of: the num­ber of lev­el tran­si­tions of the numer­i­cal index val­ues per unit time, and the length of time spent at or below the low­er val­ue of a pre­de­ter­mined tran­si­tion range; and
  • alert­ing the sub­ject when an sleep onset con­di­tion is detected.

To learn more about mar­ket data, trends and lead­ing com­pa­nies in the dig­i­tal brain health space –dig­i­tal plat­forms for brain/ cog­ni­tive assess­ment, mon­i­tor­ing and enhance­ment– check out this mar­ket report. To learn more about our analy­sis of 10,000+ patent fil­ings, check out this IP & inno­va­tion neu­rotech report.

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

Top Articles on Brain Health and Neuroplasticity

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Illusions


Subscribe to our e-newsletter

* indicates required

Got the book?