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AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 1, 2018

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PupilScreen aims to allow parents, coaches, medics to detect concussion, brain injuries with a smartphone

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University of Washington researchers are developing the first smartphone app that is capable of objectively detecting concussion and other traumatic brain injuries in the field: on the sidelines of a sports game, on a battlefield or in the home of an elderly person prone to falls.

PupilScreen can detect changes in a pupil’s response to light using a smartphone’s video camera and deep learning tools — a type of artificial intelligence — that can quantify changes imperceptible to the human eye.

This pupillary light reflex has long been used to assess whether a patient has severe traumatic brain injury, and recent research finds it can be useful in detecting milder concussions — opening up an entirely new avenue for screening.

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