New App Could Help Make Concussion Testing Easier
Indy Company Testing App to Screen for Head Injuries
Concussion inducing sports such as football, soccer, hockey, and even cheerleading continue to keep parents, coaches and physicians on high alert for knowing how to identify and treat dangerous head injuries. A company from Indianapolis, called Brightlamp, says they are working to create technology that will provide an easy way to test for the more than 80 percent of concussions that go undiagnosedeach year, simply by using a new app named Reflex. This is how the app is said to work:
- When a player is suspected of having a concussion, app users can begin a verbal questionnaire and ask a series of easy questions like, “Do you know your name?” The reviewer will be looking for cognitive function, emotional function, and physical function.
- Users will then be looking for light in his or her eye to check their pupils for dilation. To do this, the app flashes the phone’s light and takes a five second video. It is then sent back to the Brightlamp servers for analysis of pupil dilation speeds. A person with a concussion will have slower reactions, and less dilation.
- Their program can relay this information back to the app in seconds, and it can even identify weak, less obvious concussions that may be hard to detect on the field.
Physicians say the app may be a good screening tool, but diagnoses should be left to a medical professional. So, while Reflex makes its way through a clinical review at Indiana University Health before being available to consumers in less than two years, parents and coaches should be working to establish prevention measures for athletes to avoid these head and brain injuries and know how to recognize the warning signs and symptoms associated.
Indiana University provides this list of concussion and head injury symptoms:
- Fuzzy or Blurry vision
- Nausea or vomiting (early on)
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Feeling sluggish, tired, or groggy
- Feeling unusually irritable
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Trouble falling asleep
- More emotional
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty remembering new information
In recent years, researchers have linked athlete concussion and brain injury rates to the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries.
Most severe CTE is found in former professional players but high school athletes have also been identified as a potential risk group. New findings now say contact sports played by children of school age, such as football, boxing, competitive BMX riding, wrestling, rugby, basketball and baseball, can also affect mood, behavior and cognition from sustained brain injuries that could lead to undiagnosed CTE.
Serious Head Injuries Can Be Prevented, Should Be Diagnosed Promptly
If you or your child has been suffering as a result of delayed diagnosis of a concussion or a missed diagnosis of previous concussion or brain injury, it maybe be difficult to complete simple daily tasks. Ongoing medical, emotional, and therapeutic support may be necessary. We can help by providing the legal assistance you need to focus on healing.