DARPA/RIT's 'Blast Gauge': measuring the unseen wound

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the ‘signature wound’ of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And the causes–improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other types of bombs–are apparent. But gauging how much blast a soldier has been exposed to, where he or she may not be in a condition to tell, has been unavailable till now. The wristwatch-sized Blast Gauge measures the amount of blast a soldier has experienced and provides the medic with a RYG indicator of the relative risk of injury. If yellow or red, treatment for TBI can begin at once. It was also developed quickly and inexpensively: the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), under contract to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), developed the gauge in just 11 months and for a total development cost of approximately $1 million. Units are just $45 each. Currently it is piloting with more than 6,400 soldiers and Marines with phase II doubling this over the next month. Gauging the Unseen Wounds (Armed with Science)