US Army Develops New Tech to Detect Brain Injuries Within Minutes

The US Army has unveiled a new blood testing device capable of detecting traumatic brain injuries within 15 minutes.

Called the i-STAT TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), the device can rapidly spot biomarkers that signal brain damage and helps determine whether a patient needs to undergo a follow-on CT scan.

Its modular design allows it to be used at the bedside of soldiers suspected of concussion without impeding its ability to produce “lab quality results” faster than other blood testing devices.

“This can help get the most severely injured service members to neurosurgeons faster and ultimately save lives,” US Army neurosurgical consultant Lt. Col. Bradley Dengler said.

The development of the i-STAT TBI was among the army’s top priorities for its health system.

Eliminating Unnecessary Evacuations

According to the US Army, nearly 500,000 American troops experienced traumatic brain injuries between 2000 and 2023.

They were sustained during military training, combat deployment, or day-to-day activities, such as sporting events.

Analyzer Traumatic Brain Injury
A US Army medical laboratory specialist waits for test results from the Analyzer Traumatic Brain Injury (ATBI) system. Photo: US Army

The i-STAT TBI, developed in partnership with Abbott Laboratories, helps address a persistent challenge for frontline medical providers in operations where blast exposure is common.

“Given the large numbers of expected casualties with all severities of traumatic brain injury in future large-scale combat operations, this test can help maintain combat power far forward by helping to eliminate unnecessary evacuations,” Dengler pointed out.

The i-STAT TBI has already received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration.

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