By Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When it comes to looking for the first signs of concussion or other brain injuries, a new tool is available from a Maryland company — and it’s being backed by the NFL and the Department of Defense.
The device, called BrainScope, comes in two parts. It includes a disposable electrode headset, and a military-grade smartphone with specialized software.
The tool is designed to give an objective appraisal of possible brain injury as early as possible after an accident:
“So much of brain injury assessment is subjective, and so what we are adding is objectivity. You’re literally reading the brain electoral activity of the patient,” says Michael Singer, CEO of BrainScope.
“Close your eyes, relax and keep your feet flat on the floor.”
The software compares activities of an uninjured brain, like relaxing, with the readings of someone who suffered a concussion.
It also compares cognitive functions with tests taken by the patient, which could lead to a CT scan.
“We run multiple tests and that aggregation is what is then used by the clinicians for them to make a diagnosis,” says Singer.
Supporters of Bethesda-based BrainScope include the military, with the defense department providing funding, as well as the NFL, where brain injuries to players have gone from locker room secret to full-blown headlines:
“There’s just no denying a lot of guys out there like me dealing with the stage of brain injury,” says former NFL player Mitch White.
The portability of BrainScope means versatility with FDA approval.
“It’s meant to be anywhere a head injury might occur, so our markets are places like urgent care centers, emergency room departments in hospitals, the military, universities,” says Singer.