Virtual Reality: The Future of Medical Diagnosis

Researchers at Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance Center can diagnose concussions using virtual reality (VR) device. Sounds futuristic? Not quite.

For Jamshid Gahjar, MD, PhD, Director of the Center said that ‘brain injuries are still poorly understood’. By using Eye-Sync technology – a VR headset platforms that track eye movements and reports signs of impairment in eye-trackers and records eye movement. The software produces a report indicating any eye movement impairment.

The study will test the balance of the participant by observing their standing posture with their eyes closed and ‘…one process powers the eyes to follow the world around you as you move your head. The other tracks moving objects as your head stays still. Simply moving one’s head around while looking at a stationary object can induce nausea and other symptoms of a concussion, and it is an easy test to perform to assess the first process powering attention. It’s more difficult to assess the second attention process and to notice how accurately the eyes are following a rapidly moving object’ (MedGadget.com, 2016).

A healthy person can tracks the dot accurately predicting how it will move. However, those who suffered from concussions will not be able to predict the moving dot leading to erratic eye movements as you can see from the illustration below:

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Eye movement of a participant without concussion

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The erratic eye movement of a participant with concussion

Lastly, the medical practitioner can utilise the technology to improve the diagnosis of a concussion. As there is not exactly a cure for a concussion, the study concluded that sleep and exercise are the best remedies to recover from a concussion (MedGadget.com, 2016).

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Adapted from: Staford Health Care and MedGadget.com

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