Mobile imaging system can go where most CT scanners can’t

A new technology hopes to break the geographical barriers keeping patients from diagnostic CT scans. The imaging units are hardly mobile, so one scientist is hoping to put similar tools into people’s hands.

BrainScope is a system that combines a smartphone software with a disposable electrode headpiece. A nurse or technician can record electroencephalogram data in minutes—allowing the software to calculate the likelihood of structural damage or impairment.

Michael Singer, PhD, became CEO of BrainScope in 2008, two years after the 50-employee firm was established in Bethesda, Maryland. Singer focused on technological development related to traumatic brain injury (TBI). It has raised $60 million in venture capital.

“Clinical trials have shown that BrainScope One can indicate the presence or absence of brain injury with 98 percent accuracy and could reduce the rate of unnecessary CT scans by about a third. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the $15,000 device in 2016, and it’s now in use at about 150 locations across the U.S.,” Singer said, in an interview with Bloomberg.

Company executives are hoping to reduce costs and increase availability for BrainScope, while fine-tuning its ability to diagnose TBI and stroke.