(USA)

A new smartphone app is being developed that can detect concussion and other brain injuries.

The technology being advanced by researchers at the University of Washington could be applied to a variety of sporting situations, outdoor events and even in homes.

PupilScreen works by harnessing ‘deep learning tools’ that can pick up signals that can’t be seen by a human eye. In testing clinicians made pretty much perfect judgements using the app.

“Having an objective measure that a coach or parent or anyone on the sidelines of a game could use to screen for concussion would truly be a game-changer,” said Shwetak Patel, the Washington Research Foundation Endowed Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and of Electrical Engineering at the UW. “Right now the best screening protocols we have are still subjective, and a player who really wants to get back on the field can find ways to game the system.”

The innovative platform is designed to enable anyone to make a quick and objective assessment.

“We think this device will empower everyone from Little League coaches to NFL doctors to emergency department physicians to rapidly detect and triage head injury,” added Dr Lynn McGrath, from UW Medicine’s Department of Neurological Surgery.

The researchers are now looking to work with partners to carry out further tests.