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Can a New Smartphone App Detect Brain Injuries?

One of the most catastrophic injuries an accident victim can suffer is a traumatic brain injury. Our Virginia accident attorneys have helped many brain injury victims and understand how devastating these injuries can be for both victims and their families.

According to national statistics, at least 52,000 people are killed every year because of a brain injury. These statistics also reveal that although more than one million people end up at emergency rooms because they have been injured, there are many other victims who never seek out treatment because they are not aware they have sustained a brain injury. This often ends up tragically because even what may appear to be a minor blow to the head can result in a life-threatening or fatal situation.

Brain Injury App

In an effort to prevent these tragic outcomes, researchers from the University of Washington have developed a smartphone application which they say may be able to detect brain injuries. The app is called PupilScreen and uses the camera and flashlight of a smartphone to test a suspected brain injury victim’s pupils' response to light.

The app stimulates the victim’s eyes by using the flash, while the camera records the pupils’ response to the flash. The video records for eight seconds and is then processed, using a system which tracks each pupil’s diameter and then determining which pixels belong to the pupil in each frame of the video. The system measures the changes in the size of the pupil in each frame. If there are changes, the system notifies the victim they should seek medical treatment. The results of the test can also assist physicians since it is often difficult to diagnose a brain injury when a victim does show up at the emergency room with a suspected head injury. 

The research team conducted a small pilot program with patients who had sustained a brain injury and researchers were able to diagnose those injured patients and healthy patients by just using the PupilScreen app. A much larger testing program is planned for some time next year, with launching of the app projected in approximately two years.

If the research team is successful in the final development of PupilScreen, the number of victims who end up with long-term disabilities or who die from their injuries could decrease substantially because the sooner brain injuries are diagnosed and treated, the better the chance a victim has of recovery.

Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the pain and losses that were a result of that injury. Our Virginia brain injury attorneys have successfully represented many accident victims and their families and would be happy to meet and discuss how our firm may be able to help. We also provide a free traumatic brain injury guide which provides important information about Virginia’s brain injury law and other legal questions regarding pursuing an injury claim.

Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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