Phone app proves a useful tool in evaluating concussion patients

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The app, called Reflex, has been shown to be entirely suitable as a concussion clinical decision support tool.
Image by Adry Irawan

Doctors evaluating concussion patients might soon be pulling out their smartphone.

A new app has been shown in a recently published peer-reviewed study to detect evidence of concussion in patients.

The app, called Reflex, has been developed through the Purdue Foundry, next to the Purdue University campus in Indiana. It is a hub which helps Purdue innovators develop and commercialize their ideas.

Reflex works like a pupillometer. It takes a digital video recording of an individual’s eye to measure a response called pupillary light reflex. The user holds the camera up to an eye and taps the smartphone screen. A light flashes to initiate a response from the pupil.

Doctors across North America used Reflex to perform a retrospective clinical review of patients cared for in neurological clinics. The results of the study were published in Life, an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal of life sciences scientific studies.

Dr Frederick Carrick, professor of neurology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, said Reflex identifies biomarkers that might be used in clinical diagnosis, treatment and decision-making for concussions.

“Physicians have measured pupillary light reflex since the earliest time of recorded history,” Carrick says. “It is only recently that advances in technology have allowed us to quantify it accurately. This is the largest study of concussion and PLR to date.”

Kurtis Sluss, chief exective and founder of startup company brightlamp, said the published study proves Reflex is entirely suitable as a concussion clinical decision support tool.

“We are rapidly integrating this knowledge into a new concussion-based clinical decision support metric that current and future users can use to monitor their patients more rigorously,” Sluss said.

“Clinicians and trainers now have the evidence they need to confidently integrate Reflex into their concussion workflow. Our goal as a company is to optimize the recovery trajectory for concussion patients and prevent compounding injury so they can lead healthier lives.”

Sluss has received commercialization guidance from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District at Purdue, adjacent to the Purdue campus.

Carrick, F.R.; Azzolino, S.F.; Hunfalvay, M.; Pagnacco, G.; Oggero, E.; D’Arcy, R.C.N.; Abdulrahman, M.; Sugaya, K. The Pupillary Light Reflex as a Biomarker of Concussion. Life 2021, 11, 1104. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11101104

The study, published under a Creative Commons License, can be read here

 

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