Thomas Edison asserted that “the chief function of the body was to carry the brain around.” It is imperative that an injury to the brain is not missed or discounted.
Recently, AnthroTronix received FDA clearance to bring to market its phone application, DANA, to assess brain reaction times. The assessment of the brain’s reaction time helps a medical responder or athletic trainer understand, quickly, the health of the brain following trauma such as a concussion without the time required of expensive and time consuming diagnostic testing. The software has been successfully tested on soldiers in Afghanistan. The app consists of 3 different tests, a 5 minute test, a 15 minute brief, and a full 45 minute battery of tests.
Currently emergency medical responders use a system call the Glasgow Coma Scale to evaluate head injury. The test awards the highest points if “eyes open spontaneously, if the patient is “oriented” and the patient “obeys commands.” Doctors now understand that the highest score on a Glasgow Coma Scale does not rule out a mild traumatic brain injury. However, other than the patient’s subjective complaints of headache, dizziness, light sensitivity, and other altered cognitive function, there has been no objective test that could be done, at an accident site, or on the playing field.
Maybe, that is, until now.
Tony Baratta is the founding partner at Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and a member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association( BIAPA).