Have you or a loved one experienced head injury? Also known as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), head injury is a leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide. Epidemiological studies over the last 20 years suggest that in developed countries alone, the mortality rate directly attributable to TBI is 90% while all-cause mortality from severe TBI is about 30-35%. (1) Given such prevalence, accurate classification and clinical diagnosis is imperative in order to identify patients at highest risk.
BrainScope – a Bethesda, Maryland firm, has recently announced United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for its latest medical device for use in assessing traumatic brain injury. Developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, BrainScope’s latest TBI assessment technology, the “Ahead 300” – a handheld, non-invasive device – aims to facilitate rapid and better clinical decision-making.
Based on a proprietary technology platform, the Ahead 300 proposes advanced electro-encephalography (EEG) capabilities employing sophisticated machine learning, digital signal processing, and analytical algorithms to provide insights from brainwave recording databases. Further, it features smartphone integrative capabilities, coupled with miniaturized hardware and a disposable headset.
Salient features of the Ahead 300:
· Multi-modal device
· Clinically relevant measurements
· Comprehensive data panel; objective assessment at point of care, covering full TBI spectrum – from structural injuries visible on a CT scan through mild TBI or concussion.
As opposed to providing a binary diagnostic response – the patient has a concussion or no concussion – the device would help physicians by providing analytical insights, enabling them in better clinical decision-making. Simply put, the device aims to provide clinicians with a fast, objective assessment tool to discern TBI in patients, differentiating them from those with mild to moderate symptoms who visit point of care facilities.
There are over five million patients with closed head injuries in the U.S. and millions more who do not seek evaluation. The presence of an objective assessment tool such as the Ahead 300 at vitally important healthcare settings could have significant impact on triage, medical management, and clinical diagnosis outcomes and in turn on morbidity and mortality rates. Backed by Revolution, ZG Ventures, State of Maryland Venture Fund, Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, and Difference Capital, the company plans to commercialize the Ahead 300 in coming months. For more, read here.
1. White, H., & Venkatesh, B. (2016). Traumatic brain injury. Oxford Textbook of Neurocritical Care, 210.