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Portable brain scan software saving lives on the battlefield

20 June 2016

Portable brain scan software saving lives on the battlefield

The portable scanner is made in mind to spot bleeding on the brain and other common head injuries for soldiers.

Being more than half the size of a MRI, the machine would still create actuate 3D models of the patient’s brain out on the field without being moved to a hospital. This could save vital time on making a crucial diagnosis.

The university is working on the machinery with the Ministry of Defence's science and technology laboratory (DSTL).

Dr Leila Eadie, a researcher at the Centre for Rural Health at the University of Aberdeen, said: "There is a clear need for this technology.

"Traumatic brain injury is a big problem for the military, especially because it can be difficult to spot in the field and if left untreated, it can have long-term effects.

"Ultrasound is not normally used for imaging the brain, but we hope to prove through further investigations that it is a viable method of making an early diagnosis of head injury whilst in the field."

She added: "Battlefield medics will not have CT or MRI scanners which are bulky and expensive, but they are likely to have ultrasound equipment already, so it is a case of extending the use of the kit they already have."

DSTL capability adviser Neal Smith said: "UK Armed Forces operate in many remote locations and where personnel are injured we need to ensure that all conditions can be rapidly and correctly diagnosed to provide the best possible treatment and care.

"Devices which are lightweight, easy to deploy and easy to use, such as the portable ultrasound scanning support system being developed by the University of Aberdeen, have the potential to enhance our capabilities on operations and enhance patient care."

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