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Company creating iPad app for diagnosing concussions

Early detection of a concussion, whether on the playing field, after a fall or some other personal injury, can help the victim receive necessary treatment sooner. This could minimize the effects of the head trauma, which often includes nausea, confusion and dizziness.

One company is working on expanding the current testing to include tablet technology. Software developers are hoping to take advantage of the iPad’s power and portability to help sports trainers, emergency responders and neurologists diagnose a possible concussion with greater accuracy. “We want to give them extra tools,” says the president of the company, which is called VisionQuest. “It’s a screening tool.”

Typically, testing for a concussion includes examining the victim’s pupils, hearing, balance, reaction time and memory. VisionQuest’s software will use the iPad to help perform those tests. For example, the tablet’s camera flash could be used to measure the pupil’s dilation. The iPad’s gyroscope can test balance. A game inside the app may detect defects in memory. And sounds from the speakers can help test for hearing loss.

Much of the media attention around concussions and traumatic brain injury in recent years has focused on athletes. People who participate in contact or extreme sports are indeed at a heightened risk of brain injury. But anyone could be the victim of a TBI. Auto accidents, workplace accidents, slips and falls; all of these everyday events, and many more, can result in someone getting hit on the head and suffering a brain injury.

A TBI may force you to miss work for a long time, and its effects could also reduce your quality of life, perhaps permanently. When that injury is due to the negligent actions (or inaction) of someone else, that person or business should be held responsible.

Source: Albuquerque Business First, “VisionQuest developing iPad software to test for brain injury,” Dan Mayfield, April 4, 2014

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