Pentagon Phone App Spots Combat Brain Injuries

Saturday, 11 Jun 2011 09:14 PM

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The Pentagon has released a free Android smartphone app that helps military doctors spot concussions — the potentially disabling but often stealthy injuries that many combat veterans incur, the Military, Brain InjuriesWashington Wire blog of The Wall Street Journal reports.

The app, which the National Center for Telehealth and Technology developed, provides a set of digital reference tools for medical practitioners examining wounded soldiers. The software is a first step toward a more ambitious future goal: handheld, on-site technology that can detect combat-related concussions caused by roadside bombs and other weapons deployed against U.S. troops.

Advances in this area can’t come fast enough, said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff.

“When a soldier comes back from war, he might look exactly the same and act the same, but after two weeks or so, the signs start to show up,” Chiarelli said. “He goes to the doctor and says, ‘Fix it,’ and the doctor can’t fix it. It’s got to be the most frustrating thing in the world.”

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