AI Reduces CT Scan Risks for Brain Injury Patients

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a difficult condition to diagnose without the help of advanced medical imaging. Computer tomography scans, also known as CT scans, are the primary tool for this purpose. Unfortunately, CT scans put TBI patients at greater risk due to radiation exposure. That exposure can now be reduced thanks to a revolutionary new piece of equipment that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to detect injury.

The device, known as the BrainScope One, is an EEG-based structural injury classifier presented as a disposable electrode headset designed for single use. Electrical signal information is gathered by the device and run through software that uses advanced signal processing to determine brain activity. The software’s algorithms can identify and distinguish normal brain activity from concussed activity, explains Psychology Today.

It’s All About Signal Processing

Rock West Solutions, a California company that specializes in signal processing in the healthcare industry, works on advanced signal processing technologies used in medical imaging devices. They say the key to the BrainScope One is its signal processing capabilities.

Apparently, using an EEG-based device to measure electrical activity in the brain is the easy part. EEG technology has been around a long time and has been more or less perfected. The hard part is taking the signals and analyzing them to come up with the desired result.

Doctors have been using EEG devices to help diagnose common conditions like sleep disorders and epilepsy for quite some time. This new device goes one step further. Rather than just recording brain wave patterns, it analyzes brain activity to determine even subtle changes. And it uses AI to do so.

Reducing the Need for CT Scans

When a patient is admitted to the emergency room with a possible brain injury, one of the first things the attending physician does is order a CT scan. CT scans utilize radiation to create an image of the brain. The problem is that the radiation can cause further damage in brain injury patients.

According to CDC estimates, people with TBIs are at greater risk of dying from seizures, infections, pneumonia, and other conditions. The intended purpose of BrainScope One is to reduce the need for CT scans so as to not further injure patients and subsequently increase their risks.

According to Psychology Today, data from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that as much as 33% of the CT scans performed on children visiting the ER are not medically necessary. So why expose them to radiation if we don’t have to?

Psychology Today contributor Cami Rosso reports that BrainScope One could reduce the prevalence of CT scans for traumatic brain injury by more than 30%. That means 30 out of every 100 TBI patients being diagnosed with a simple EEG device that does not increase their risks of injury.

Better Devices for Better Imaging

Rock West Solutions says that BrainScope One is an example of the technology revolution the medical imaging industry is experiencing. Thanks to big advancements in signal processing, automation and artificial intelligence, the industry is making better devices that are achieving better results.

Once again, it’s all about better signal processing. It’s one thing to collect all sorts of data with the use of probes, sensors, sound waves and radiation, but none of that data is of any value if the machines that produce it are not capable of filtering out the noise. That’s why the discipline of advanced signal processing exists. And because it does, the need for CT scans among TBI patients looks like it’s going to be reduced.