Measuring Brain Trauma With Wearable Tech

It is no revelation that wearable technology is ideal for vital biometric applications. Wristbands, smart watches and even headphones can monitor the measurements of critical body activities. Primarily this is manifested in the active living technology market, helping healthy people become healthier by optimizing their workout routines, but there are applications in healthcare and, in one specific case, on the battlefield.

The Blast Gauge System, which was developed by BlackBox Biometrics, is a piece of wearable technology that aids in detecting traumatic brain injuries.

Unlike the Google Glass peripheral that Mobile ID World reported on earlier this week, which actively measures electrochemical patterns in a user’s globe of grey matter, the Blast Gauge System takes a more passive approach. The device is worn in a visible area on the soldier’s uniform and is constantly monitoring for signs that signal brain injury due to blast exposure.

It’s biometrics by correlation.

The device measures a soldier’s encounters with blast overpressure and alerts filed personnel (commanding officers and medics) if a soldier needs to be evaluated for physical brain trauma. BlackBox Biometrics’ Blast Gauge System is already being used by every branch of the US Armed Forces, as well as internationally and in law enforcement verticals.

This is a good example of two things. First, it is a practical application of biometrics in a field setting for the purposes of safety. Secondly is exemplifies an interesting way of measuring a notoriously difficult to access. The brain’s vital statistics are encased behind bone, so in a rough and dangerous environment, innovators need to be creative if they want to measure brain damage.