The Department of Defense is investing heavily into building a mobile hand held device that can identify signs of brain damage in a person following a roadside bomb or any other injury causing trauma to the head.
From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:
The Pentagon’s answer: A gizmo that could evaluate a soldier in seconds. And the Defense Department is giving the Brain Trauma Foundation $4.6 million over four years to come up with a device that can do just that–and is rugged enough to function in Iraq. It’s part of $300 million Congress set aside for research into traumatic brain injury and psychological health.
The battlefield-ready version isn’t finished. When it is, it’ll probably include goggles or a visor attached to a PDA. But at its heart will be a tiny, high-resolution camera and software to measure how well the soldier can track a red dot traveling in a small circle. How consistently the eye tracks the dot– both initially, and then while the patient concentrates on a simple task, like remembering five words – indicates how much damage was done, said Jamshid Ghajar, the foundation’s president and a clinical neurosurgeon at Weill Cornell Medical College.
More at the WSJ Health Blog…