One of the most severe and life-altering injuries is brain and spinal cord damage. Victims of paralysis are often unable to walk, confined to a wheelchair and suffer from an overwhelming loss of life enjoyment. While researchers are constantly looking for improvements to treat paralysis, there is no cure. In a recent breakthrough, those who are unable to speak because of brain injury and paralysis may benefit from new technology that allows victims of paralysis to communicate through their pupils.
Any injury that leaves a victim unable to communicate or speak is devastating to victims and their families. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, swimming and boating accidents and other preventable tragedies are often the cause of paralysis and the loss of communication between victims and families. Our Greensboro personal injury attorneys are experienced in complex cases involving paralysis and are dedicated to helping victims get compensation and treatment that they deserve. We are also abreast of new technologies that can aid victims who suffer from serious and life-altering injuries.
A new kind of communication may be on the market allowing victims of brain injury and paralysis to answer questions through "smart goggles" that can read the response of a patient through the pupil. The technology also allows individuals in a reduced state of consciousness to respond to requests and commands. This also gives doctors the opportunity to diagnose patients who have a loss of brain function.
The technology uses pupils which expand and contract in response to light and dark. The pupil also dilates when we are thinking or contemplating a decision. German researchers are using the physiological system of the pupil to help victims of accidents communicate through neurological responses. They initiated the technology by asking simple questions with responses "yes" or "no" on a computer screen. Wearing the glasses of special technology, the researchers read the pupils response to the questions, finding that the more contemplation and the larger increase in pupil size, the more likely the responder found the correct answer.
When a victim is unable to speak after an accident, it can be difficult for doctors to identify areas of pain, apply proper treatment, and restrictive for patients and their families. This new technology could alleviate some of the stresses, by allowing victims to communicate their needs while in recovery. While using the new technology, doctors found that accuracy of the smart goggle technology was between 67 and 87 percent--not 100 percent, but better than guessing a victim's condition or needs.
The technology could help to allow patients to communicate their needs including hunger or pain. It can also help in the event of trying to put together the pieces after an accident or criminal matter. Officers could apply the technology when interviewing witnesses. Though the opportunities are endless, it is not known when the smart goggles will be made available to doctors or for consumer use.
Researchers believe that continuing to work and develop the technology could improve the accuracy to have a greater success rate. The initial trial run is a positive step forward for victims of accidents who have been left in a semi-conscious state or unable to communicate after an injury.