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New technology to assess brain injuries like never before

Posting in Technology

The KINARM Assessment Station can do for "the diagnosis of brain injury what X-rays did for diagnosing muscular and skeletal injuries."

I was assaulted and mugged last week. A punch to the jaw left me unconscious. It was a horrifying experience.

While I did get checked out at the ER, the diagnosis of my condition was based on a doctor asking me a few questions during a superficial examination.

I suppose there's only so much you can decipher from asking a person to touch a finger. The doctor couldn't see what was going on inside my head.

Needless-to-say, this new medical tool caught my attention: The KINARM Assessment Station can catch things normal tests miss. Today, Queen's University neuroscientist Stephen Scott, will announce the new medical tool at the neuroscience conference in San Diego.

"This system has the potential to do for the diagnosis of brain injury what X-rays did for diagnosing muscular and skeletal injuries," John Molloy, president and CEO of Queen's University's PARTEQ Innovations said in a statement.

The medical tool can detect subtle deficits caused by a brain injury. The device is made with a chair with robot arms and uses a virtual reality program to test patients by asking them to hit balls, according to the news release. After the mental assessment, the report would reveal any unusual behavior.

The tool could be useful in diagnosing brain injury from accidents or conditions caused by diseases. It's likely that it could be used to assess sports-related head injuries too.

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Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech,, and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure