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