Tablet-based system analyzes voice to detect concussions


April 1, 2013

A boxer utilizing the new concussion-detecting test

A boxer utilizing the new concussion-detecting test

Concussions should be tended to a soon as possible after they occur, but it’s often difficult to tell whether or not one has actually been sustained, without taking the person to a hospital. That’s why scientists at Indiana’s University of Notre Dame have developed a tablet-based test that detects concussions on the spot, by analyzing the voice.

The test is particularly likely to be used in sports, and requires the person to recite a variety of words once before they start playing, and then again once they’ve (possibly) been injured. The software analyzes the differences between the before-and-after versions of the words, looking for indicators of traumatic brain injury – these could include things like hyper nasality, distorted vowels, and imprecise consonants.

According to the university, not only is the tablet-based test much more portable and inexpensive than using something such as an X-ray machine, but it is also highly accurate. Additionally, it isn’t fooled by athletes who try to pretend they’re all right, in order to keep from being pulled from the game.

Another sideline concussion test, developed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, simply requires athletes to read and respond to numbers displayed on flash cards.

More information on the tablet test is available in the video below.

Source: University of Notre Dame

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
1 Comment

A concussion is a clinical diagnosis (one made based on the patient's history--injury-- and a physical examination). X-ray machines have no role in diagnosing a concussion, nor to CT scans. Imaging studies done in an emergency department are only done to rule out more serious injuries, and only in select patients with concerning exam findings.

David Alden
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