How do you decide when it is a good time for you to drive? Do you feel sleepy, alert, or completely awake? Then again, this probably isn’t the best question, because there will always be times when you have to drive, to work, back home, and whatever else, no matter how you are feeling.
There’s just one problem with that. When you’re driving, you are controlling the movements of a giant machine that could potentially kill people.
When you are driving, you need to be awake and alert. Otherwise, you’re a danger to yourself and the people around you.
A common problem with driving is drunk driving. Driving while your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is over 0.08% means you are a risk to everyone on the roads. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to tell whether or not you are drunk. Everyone can have different amounts of alcohol before they are officially too drunk to drive, this isn’t a one size fits all thing.
Not only that, alcohol affects different people differently. Some could immediately feel alcohol’s effects, and realize that it is not a good time to drive, while others could only feel the effects after 20 minutes, when they are already on the road.
So what’s the solution? How do you understand if you are drunk, sleepy, or could be a danger to other drivers?
Our mission at Cortics is to give drivers certainty that they won’t be feeling sleepy or drunk on the roads, and if they are, they will know about it.
Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. Imagine if the entire town you lived dropped dead at 12:00am. It’s that bad.
That’s around 1.25 million preventable deaths, and while not all of them are as a result of drivers not being completely alert, it is still a high number.
Unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030. When you realize that the first four are all things like heart diseases, strokes, and respiratory infections, that’s crazy!
Currently, the number of deaths from road accidents is decreasing, but not by much, and this is primarily due to advances in healthcare. The only problem with that is that it is a solution after the crash has occurred. It’s reactive. The solution we propose, on the other hand, is preventative.
The only ways we have of analyzing if you are drunk or not is through a blood test, or a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer will only tell you whether or not you are drunk, and not only are you probably not going to use it, its accuracy is only around 85%. The blood test will tell you a lot, but it takes a long time to analyze, so both of these are limited.
This is because they rely on either breath or blood. However, what if there were something that could measure your brainwaves quickly and accurately to determine not just whether you are drunk or not, but also if you are sleepy, on a sugar high, or anything else that might impact your ability to drive?
That’s our product.
Our product is a huge amount of nanosensors that measure oxygen levels in your brain, much like a portable fMRI machine. These nanosensors are blood-deliverable, so it’s just one shot and that’s it. Because they measure oxygen levels, they can tell you what exactly is happening in your brain. For example, if you are drunk, these nanosensors can tell that, for example, your cortex (the part of your brain in charge of judgement and reasoning) is not working properly because there is less oxygen there, which means the cortex is working less. These nanosensors can also tell if a part of your brain is using more oxygen, which would mean it is working overtime.
This principle can be applied to any part of your brain, which means our product can tell you whether you are sleepy, drunk, on a sugar high, or on the Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland!
So how does this work? It’s a 3-part solution.
Part 1 is why our product is better than other non-invasive BCIs, such as the Muse. Imagine your brain as a billion electric fields all going off at the same time. Non-invasive BCIs have a hard time detecting all of these electric fields because they’re non-invasive. They can’t get a completely accurate reading because either they are too small or there is just too much stuff, such as hair, skin, etc., in the way. However, our product uses nanotechnology to actually get inside your skin without a bunch of wires sticking out of your head.
Next, these nanosensors have to get to your brain. They don’t work if they’re just sitting around in your arm. This is done through chemical sensors that seek out neurotransmitters unique to the brain, like neuropeptides. The nanosensors are powered by electrodes, which will use electrolytes in your blood to get power. Because these are nanobots, the electrolyte difference will be negligible.
Now that they are near your brain, the nanosensors can measure your brain’s oxygen level through a ruthenium phosphor. This phosphor will emit electricity, which will power an ultrasound generator. Depending on how much oxygen is in a part of your brain, the ultrasound will change, and this will be picked up by an ultrasound receiver.
These things combined lead to the clearest image of a brain that doesn’t require giant machinery since the Muse! This has many applications, including in healthcare, controlling heavy machinery, and even video games!
Drunk driving kills over 3 000 people every day! This is huge, and Cortics will be at the forefront of it.