how tablet computers can now be used to diagnose concussions

Much like the first smartphones, tablets have served to transform the way we use computers. However, it’s important to understand that while tablets have made it that much easier to watch our favorite programs, access the Internet and even read eBooks, they are also responsible for revolutionizing the area of modern medicine.

Take for example a tablet application called the C3 Logix system, which was introduced by a Pennsylvania-based health care network at a press conference held at Highmark Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, just last week.

The C3 system is specially designed to help analyze and assess the symptoms of a concussion/mild traumatic brain injury by measuring a person’s reaction time, balance, memory, vision and motor function.

Remarkably, all of this is accomplished by having the patient balance atop a piece of foam, while the tablet computer — which is strapped to the patient’s back — records both motion and gyroscopic data. In addition, the patient is also administered a series of touch-screen tests, with all relevant data being sent to a cloud network.

The envisioned use for the C3 system is as a concussion diagnostic tool on the sidelines of high school athletic events. For example, a licensed athletic trainer can administer the aforementioned tests almost immediately if a student athlete suffers some sort of head injury during the course of play.

If the tests reveal telltale signs of a concussion, the information stored in the cloud can eventually be accessed by a treating physician who can use it as a point of reference in calculating recovery time.

The Pennsylvania health care network behind the introduction of the C3 system is in the process of piloting the technology in five Pittsburgh-area school districts in an attempt to establish pricing models. As for the efficacy of the systems, officials indicate that it is currently in use by over 50 schools in neighboring Ohio, as well as by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

While technology like this is altogether necessary given Pennsylvania’s new law mandating that all students showing concussion-related symptoms be removed from play immediately and receive medical clearance before returning, it must be remembered that even the most sophisticated computer programs can’t always protect people from medical malpractice as it relates to dangerous concussions.

For example, physicians in hectic hospital or urgent care settings may not devote significant time to examining patients with possible concussions, dismissing their complaints of dizziness, blurred vision and loss of balance as symptoms of other, less serious conditions, or perhaps ignoring data gathered by technology like the C3 system altogether.

If medical negligence has resulted in irreparable harm to your loved one, consider speaking with an experienced attorney.

Source: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Concussion diagnostic tool goes from hospital to sidelines,” Robert Zullo, September 21, 2013

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