FDA approves mobile medical imager for brain hematomas

Far from the hullaballoo of CES, the US Navy Office of Naval Research, which also supports medical research, announced the FDA approval of the first handheld, battery-powered medical device, the Infrascanner, that can image an intracranial hematoma in that other ‘golden hour’ after an injury. For military medics it’s simple; according to Dr. Michael Given, ONR’s program manager for expeditionary medicine, combat casualty care, “You can do the whole scan in a minute or so.” We tried to make it simple. Just a red-green lighted spot kind of display. So red, you’re in trouble; green, everything’s great. There are three sizes of red dots so you can tell if the bleeding is progressing. Simple and effective.” Traumatic brain injury (TBI) casualties have been substantial in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and hematomas are notoriously difficult to detect in the field. Plans are to deploy the device first to Marine Corps Systems Command to test ‘ruggedizing’ features and evaluate field performance; if it survives the Marines, it will survive the Navy. Philadelphia-based InfraScan, the early stage company which developed the Infrascanner, received funding from both the ONR and private investors. Armed With Science article. ONR Release