There’s a promising new tool to help pediatricians and emergency room physicians diagnose traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It’s called EyeBox and it was created by Oculogica, Inc., an algorithm-based neuro-diagnostics company.
“Eye-tracking will change the practice of emergency care for a concussion and will greatly assist a large number of patients. The result will be more consistent and objective diagnoses of concussion in the emergency room and clinic, and eventually in the field,” stated Dr. Robert Spinner, Chair of the Department of Neurological surgery at Mayo Clinic.
The device was billed as the first non-invasive, baseline-free tool to diagnose concussion in pediatric patients, ages 5 and older, and adults up to 67 years of age, EyeBOX uses eye-tracking to provide objective information to help physicians diagnose patients with suspected concussion.
The value of an objective test
While public awareness of TBI is high, due in part to NFL players, conventional testing has been fraught with problems.
Standard TBI diagnostics require a baseline test, typically generated at the beginning of a sports season, pre-injury, and is compared to subsequent test results at the time of a suspected concussion. Unfortunately, in many situations, a baseline concussion assessment isn’t feasible.
TBI’s impact on healthcare
The actual number of concussions occurring in the United States each year could be as high as 10 million. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of disability and the number one cause of death for young adults.
Automobile accidents falls, sports-related injuries and assaults are common causes of TBI. At least 75% of brain injuries in the United States are considered mild TBI. They are devastating injuries for patients and a $16.7 billion bill in direct and indirect costs to the healthcare system.
EyeBox was tested in a clinical study of 282 patients who presented in the emergency room and a concussion clinic with suspected traumatic brain injury.