Device could give quick concussion test

Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM   |   Comments

BOSTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A tablet app using a stylus and a tracing exercise can assess neuromuscular performance at a doctor's office or the scene of an injury, its U.S. developers say.

One application could be to quickly diagnose sport concussions on the sidelines during a game, they said.

Standard hand-eye coordination tests doctors use to monitor neuromuscular deficits when a patient is injured or as a patient ages can be subjective, the researchers said, but a rapid assessment device dubbed NeuroAssess can measure neuromuscular performance quantitatively.

NeuroAssess has been developed by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, the Beth Israel Medical Center and Hebrew SeniorLife, CNET reported Monday.

In tests involving 50 healthy people ages 21-95 in the Boston area, participants used a stylus on a tablet to follow a moving target tracing around a circle.

The computer can detect deviations from the circle and assesses such skills as "motion fluidity" -- how long the user pauses -- and "complexity" -- how well the person adapts to changes -- the researchers said.

The app takes into account the participant's age and sex and gives a number score for their assessment, they said.

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