Researchers at Drexel University have developed the first handheld device to detect brain hematomas. The InfraScanner is about to begin multicenter clinical trials and pending FDA approval, it will be available in the U.S. as early as the end of 2006.
The device maps out the location of the hematoma with graphics on a PDA screen and can assist paramedics and emergency room personnel in attending to those injured in traffic and sports accidents and falls.
The device is based on a PDA platform with a wireless detector probe. The signal from the probe, which can be a hairbrush, is digitized and transmitted by a wireless link to the PDA. User interface in the PDA includes a graphic display and an audio feedback to ensure the paramedic's/operator's attention on the patient.
It detects hematoma based on the differential NIR light absorption of the bleeding versus the non-bleeding part of the brain.