A new handheld device, developed by the Texas Biomedical Device Center (TXBDC), shows promise in aiding doctors to diagnose concussions on the sidelines of athletic fields.
The high tech pair of goggles, called Neurotriage, can quickly measure an individuals visual tracking abilities. The baseline test can then be followed up with additional tests, following an impact, to detect a mild brain injury.
Doctors are able to detect impairments in brain function that are likely to result in diminished performance through measuring eye movements, according to the TXBDC website.
Performance metrics such as reaction time, target marking, balance and visual steadiness can be detected in less than two minutes by capturing eye movements. The resulting delayed or imprecise reactions could lead to further injury.
“The brain is a dynamic machine that changes after injuries so you may not see the symptoms of a concussion for minutes, hours or days after the event,” said Dr. Rob Rennaker, Professor and Department Head for Bioengineering at University of Texas Biomedical Device Center. “But what we can do is detect very small changes in how the brain processes information, how the eyes move, and if we can build a system that allows us to quantify that, we can see those changes.”
Athletes with changes in performance metric parameters may not be able to prepare for impacts, creating greater susceptibility to concussion. Any athlete who is removed from play can have their brain performance measured every few minutes. When their measurements indicate a return to baseline they can be allowed to re-enter the game.
“With this system, we can tell you what you looked like before the game and we can tell you what you look like after the hit,” Rennaker said. “We can compare those and that gives you a quantitative measure to say ‘you’re different than you were before’ and now we have objective evidence.”
How Neurotriage Goggles Work
The Neurotriage System implements a miniaturized sensor called Second Derivative. It integrates a three-axis accelerometer, which measures acceleration or deceleration on a circuit board with a TI MSP430TM processor and a small battery. A headband holds the sensor on the back of the player’s head and on the neck. When physical contact is experienced, the motion of the player’s head in relation to the body is measured.
Should the sensors detect a potentially detrimental impact affecting brain performance, the player is removed to the sideline to look into the high-tech Neurotriage goggles. Eye movement patterns and balance are measured to determine how severe the level of impairment may be.
Dr. Rennaker expects the devices on the market in the fall of 2018.
The Neurotriage System is being is being commercialized by Konan Medical USA.
Brain Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury such as a sports related concussion or a head injury in a slip and fall or car accident, it is wise to consult with an experienced brain injury attorney. The attorney will determine through a thorough investigation if there was negligence that contributed to the cause of the head injury.
Vititoe Law Group has helped countless victims of traumatic brain injuries recover the compensation they deserve for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and more. If you or a loved one was injured, reach out to Vititoe Law Group for a free evaluation of your case. Contact us online or call 818-851-1886. You may be entitled to substantial compensation.