Kernel has unveiled its Flow2 system, which the company claims will give researchers and clinicians “unprecedented access” to robust, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-like neuroimaging in a quick and user-friendly headset—making precision neuromedicine “more accessible than ever before”.
Flow2 incorporates time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (TD-fNIRS) technology along with electroencephalography (EEG). This unique combination provides an “exceptionally comprehensive” view of brain activity, enabling researchers and clinicians to delve deeper into the intricate workings of the brain, as per a Kernel press release.
TD-fNIRS measures changes in oxygenation levels in the brain’s cortical regions, offering high-resolution insights similar to fMRI, while EEG captures the electrical brain waves, providing additional information about neural dynamics. According to Kernel, this integration of TD-fNIRS and EEG in Flow2—coupled with its ease of use, portability and scalability—unlocks “unprecedented possibilities” for studying brain function, developing robust biomarkers, and deeply characterising new therapies.
“Flow2 is a gamechanger in the field of neuroimaging,” said Ryan Field, CEO of Kernel. “We now have a tool that can generate sufficient data to feed modern AI [artificial intelligence] tools and draw new insights that will power the emerging field of precision neuromedicine. There are many questions that have yet to be answered because a standardised, robust and scalable source of functional brain data was unavailable—until now.”
The Flow technology has been validated through a series of publications demonstrating both the raw system performance and its ability to measure meaningful responses to psychoactive substances. Flow2 builds on this and has been launched into a number of research settings as Kernel begins to build “the next generation of use cases around highly scalable neuroimaging”.