Guest Post: New Technology for Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries

By Diana L. Nole, President, Digital Medical Solutions Diana L. Nole 2013

Medical professionals around the world have escalated efforts to develop better treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as concern grows over the serious consequences of head trauma and the increased damage that can result from repeated injuries.

TBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. In the United States traumatic brain injuries contribute to deaths and cases of permanent disability. Every year, a significant number of TBIs occur either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries. Repeated traumatic brain injuries have a cumulative impact on brain pathology and neuropsychiatric health.

Recently, Carestream announced an agreement with the NFL Buffalo Bills football team to collaborate in gathering information for use in the development of new technology to diagnose and treat head injuries, including:

  • Early diagnosis and accurate assessment of injured areas;
  • Development of medical standards that indicate if an athlete can return to play; and
  • Research that can assist in early diagnosis of long-term degenerative medical conditions in the head and brain.

Carestream’s work with the Bills will help ensure that the unique requirements for diagnosing and managing athletic injuries are included in our product design considerations. In addition, our collaboration with biomedical researchers from the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University can accelerate development efforts to deliver the best product for this critical area of medicine.

“Carestream and Johns Hopkins University are collaborating on the development of new 3D imaging systems, including a cone beam CT (CBCT) system that could provide unprecedented levels of image quality suitable to imaging of TBI. The collaboration involves the scanner design, development of imaging techniques and algorithms optimized for TBI imaging, and early clinical evaluation. Areas of application range from the hospital ICU to trauma, sports and the military theater,” said Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen, PhD, FAAPM, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. “Recognizing the major health burden associated with TBI – much of which has only recently come to light – our hope is to develop a dedicated system for high-quality imaging of head trauma and brain injury in a form that is well suited to the point of care.”

Our goal is to expand the existing knowledge of traumatic brain injuries. The work ahead of us is challenging, but our R&D staff has the expertise to work with other research experts to develop new medical imaging systems that can help physicians diagnose and treat these debilitating injuries at the earliest stages.

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