Equipment to detect/measure brain injuries in the works?
The New York Times reported over the weekend that a prototype sensor system has been created to measure changes in the brain's magnetic field. Scientists hope that the sensors can be manufactured and maintained cheaply enough to incorporate them into headgear that could instantly and cheaply decipher an injured person's neural activity after a hard knock, and "diagnose" a concussion or brain injury. The prototype could provide an inexpensive method of monitoring brain injuries, and for example, could have immediate use in preventing a football player from re-entering a game where "his bell had been rung."
The technology could also allow more precise control of prosthetics, according to a spokesman from the computer engineering department at the University of Houston. The prototype was created by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standard and Technology in Boulder, Colorado. At the moment, unfortunately, manufacturing and maintaining the sensors is too expensive to allow for practical, widespread use. Once scientist offered the suggestion that practical use of this type of device is "a few years out."