Rosalind W. Picard put together a fascinating backstory for a device that can predict seizures in 2012. Her MIT project is of just as much interest today for several reasons. The first being that it is a fun write up with a real human story. It begins with a a non-verbal autistic boy who had a grand mal seizure while wearing a galvanic skin sensor. The second point of interest is that galvanic skin sensors (GSRs) are easy to make and use and could be utilized in many types of DIY biohacking projects from lie detectors to seizure detection.
As I sat in my office, reviewing the past week’s data, I thought, “This day looks pretty typical” and “Normal variation here.” Both wrists transmitted signals that went up with mild autonomic stressors, and down with relaxation. Usually the two sides of the body respond with similar signals, and this was the case in the days I had just viewed. Then I clicked to see the next day’s data. My jaw dropped. One wrist showed a peak that was greater than ten times the typical stress response. The other wrist showed no response at all.