Defense Energy Innovation Summit, Austin, TX (December 2015)
Soldiers suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or barotrauma need accurate, timely, in-theater assessment of symptoms to inform appropriate return to duty (RTD) decisions. Often, this initial assessment and diagnosis must be conducted by first-level responders (e.g., Medics, Corpsmen) who attempt to assess vestibular symptoms and are often present directly following a concussive event; however, these symptoms are often missed, not adequately evaluated, or misdiagnosed due to a lack of familiarity with the subtleties of impaired vestibular function. To address this challenge, we have designed and prototyped a system for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Vestibular Indicators of Soldiers’ Operational Readiness (ADVISOR). ADVISOR combines an integrated hardware platform (centered around a head-mounted display (HMD)) with automated assessment capabilities to provide very low-cost, portable screening capabilities tailored for in-theater use to enable non-vestibular experts to make appropriate RTD decisions. ADVISOR supports multiple stimulus-presentation, and response-capture modalities necessary to support a battery of clinically validated and novel assessment methods (e.g., VEMP, SVV, DVAT, VEST-SOT), and provides intuitive test administration and output interpretation interfaces to both decrease the effort required by the responder, and increase the consistency and accuracy of RTD decisions.
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