February 25, 2024

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Indonesia: NeuroCube Transforming Student Mental Health

The issue of mental health among university students has been gaining increasing attention in recent years. The demanding nature of academic life, coupled with various personal, social, and economic pressures, has contributed to a growing concern for the well-being of students.

Image credits: its.ac.id

One of the primary challenges is the high level of stress associated with academic expectations. The pressure to excel in exams, complete assignments, and maintain a competitive GPA can lead to heightened stress among students. Additionally, the transition from high school to university often involves adapting to a new environment, building new social connections and managing increased independence can further contribute to feelings of anxiety and isolation.

A team of students from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) has unveiled NeuroCube. It is a Rapid Diagnostic Microfluidic Biosensor detection tool that blends cutting-edge technology to address the diagnosis of neurological disorders. This innovative Rapid Diagnostic Microfluidic Biosensor detection tool combines advanced technology to detect neurological disorders within the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Annisa Septyana Ningrum ST, the head of the student team from the ITS Physics Engineering Department Master’s study programme, shared that the inspiration for NeuroCube stemmed from the rising cases of mental disorders among students. Recognising the complexity of diagnosing mental illnesses and the potential for patients to provide inaccurate information during psychological assessments, the team set out to create a tool that could provide more accurate and reliable results.

The biosensor takes inspiration from the concept of litmus paper, which changes colour when exposed to acids or bases. Ne roCube applies this concept to neurotransmitter compounds in urine samples, such as dopamine, glutamate, and Nicotinamide Adenosine Dinucleotide Hydrogen (NADH). The colour changes in the samples indicate the concentration levels of compounds associated with six neurological disorders, including dementia, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s.

The five-person development team successfully integrated four key components – microfluidic biosensor paper, Raspberry Pi miniprocessor, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) touchscreen, and LED lights – into the NeuroCube. This tool employs colourimetry, allowing for detecting neurological disorders through a simple and efficient method.

The microfluidic biosensor paper indicates colour changes when exposed to neurotransmitter compounds and a reagent. The Rasberry Pi miniprocessor is a central processing unit (CPU) that captures images through a connected camera. These images undergo processing through a programmed algorithm, converting the reaction’s colour into compound concentration. Machine learning then utilises this data to determine the percentage risk of a person developing neurological disorders.

The LED light component controls the camera’s light intensity. NeuroCube is equipped with an LCD touchscreen for an intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI) to facilitate the entire process of compound detection and prediction of neurological disorders.

Annisa emphasised the added value of this innovation, highlighting its potential to use biosensors and machine learning technology for disease risk detection. She expressed optimism about NeuroCube’s ability to provide further analysis and expand its application to detect various diseases beyond neurological disorders.

This breakthrough earned the team a well-deserved gold medal in the National Student Scientific Week (Pimnas) presentation category within the Student Creativity Programme for Creative Work (PKM-KC). Dr Rer Nat Ruri Agung Wahyuono, the team’s supervisor, was crucial in guiding the students through this achievement.

In the future, Annisa and her team aspire to continue developing NeuroCube, envisioning it as a multiplex detection tool capable of identifying multiple diseases simultaneously. They envisioned that the awareness of this biosensor’s potential would increase, especially among the younger generation in Indonesian society. The success of NeuroCube stands as a testament to the power of combining technology, innovation, and a commitment to improving healthcare outcomes.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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