By: Allan M. Siegel
At the end of September, BrainScope announced exciting news. It has been awarded three new contracts from the Department of Defense to continue the research and development of its Ahead system. These contracts are for both the Army and the Navy and are valued at approximately $16 million. This news is exciting because BrainScope is developing, and thanks to these contracts it will continue to develop, truly innovative technology in the field of traumatic brain injuries.
The Ahead system pictured here is designed to be a point of care system, which means that any EMT or any first responder can use this tool to immediately determine if a person has suffered a traumatic brain injury. The science behind this is similar to an EEG but the test results are much simpler. So, an expert is not required to read the results.
The Ahead system reads a series of electro-chemical reactions in the brain, and through an algorithm it determines whether the electrical activity in your brain traveling among the vast neurons is reflexive, automatic, unconscious, conscious, etc. From these results the first responder can determine if a TBI is present. Also, unlike an EEG the Ahead system is lightweight and can be used in the field. A scenario where this might be very beneficial is in a car accident. If a person is in a car accident and hits his head against the headrest, he may think it is just a headache not a concussion and it will go away on its own.
The spotlight on TBIs have taught us that getting appropriate medical care as quickly as possible can be crucial to TBI recovery. If a first responder were able to immediately tell this man, "sir, you have a concussion. I need to take you to the hospital right away." Then less concussion cases would slip through the cracks of the medical system because these patients would immediately know that the injury is much more serious than a headache. We hope that the Ahead systems makes its way to the first responders of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia in the near future.