Portable scanner developed to detect ‘closed’ brain injuries in soldiers24 June 2016
Technology could help diagnose brain injuries in remote locations
A portable ultrasound brain scanner, which could help to identify brain injuries in soldiers on the front line, is being developed by researchers in Scotland.
Scientists at the University of Aberdeen are working with the Ministry of Defence’s Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to create a laptop-sized ultrasound scanner, which can be used to diagnose brain injuries in remote military environments.
The portable scanner is designed to allow medics with basic training to take a detailed scan of the brain, which can then be sent to an expert elsewhere, to quickly identify causes of trauma.
The device also highlights potentially unseen injuries which, if left untreated, could lead to victims developing physical and psychological conditions later on.
It is hoped that the new technology, which is still in development, could also be used to treat brain injury victims outside of military environments, such as remote areas which are far away from well-equipped hospitals.
David Robinson, a military claims specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The cost and size of scanners currently used to diagnose brain injuries makes them an unsuitable choice for the battlefield, so any form of lightweight equipment that may help medics diagnose and treat injured soldiers in remote locations is welcome.
“Brain injury charity Headway estimates that someone is admitted to hospital with a brain injury every 90 seconds. If victims are to receive the most appropriate treatment, the ability to identify brain injuries quickly and efficiently is vital, and a more mobile device for medical personnel attending emergency trauma situations, such as a major car accident, would be a huge advance.”
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