Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, and countless Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have one tragic thing in common: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Their stories are heartbreaking, for sure, but some good has come from their suffering in the form of increased media focus on this devastating condition, which affects around 1.7 million people each year.
Medical device manufacturers are taking notice, too. A press release today announced a pair of TBI research collaborations between Attention Control Systems and AFrame Digital. The projects will pair an Android-based version of ACS’s PEAT handheld cognitive aid with AFrame Digital’s MobileCare Monitor system. PEAT will be used to prompt TBI sufferers through daily activities, and the MobileCare Monitor will provide real-time heart rate and motion data to enhance the device’s ability to adjust cuing and scheduling support based on anxiety and stress levels. Both projects will be government funded.
Earlier this week, researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), presented at a defense and security conference in Florida their work on a portable radar system that can screen individuals for brain injuries by asking them to walk while reciting the months of the year backwards.
“When a person with a concussion performs cognitive and motor-skill tasks simultaneously, they have a different gait pattern than a healthy individual, and we can identify those anomalies in a person's walk with radar," GTRI research engineer Jennifer Palmer told The Seattle Times. The scientists hope to reduce the size of the system to make it convenient for use on battlefields and at sporting events.