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Technology to diagnose brain health remotely

Imagine being able to diagnose a brain injury without the doctor being directly there. Through revolutionary wearable technology, a doctor might be able to diagnose impending brain damage, by simply glancing at a mobile device.  

The idea behind this is more than 40 years old, but because of the difficulty of doing it accurately and safely, it has been considered impossible — until now.  

This major advancement started with a collaboration between Weizmann’s Prof. Alon Harmelin, Vice President for Administration and Finance and Dr. Slava Kalchenko, Head of the In Vivo Optical Imaging Unit in the Department of Veterinary Resources. They developed a wearable imaging system—called transcranial optical vascular assessment (TOVA)—that captures an image and data on brain injuries and connects to a wireless device for continuous, real-time monitoring.  

Brain injuries can be complicated to treat, but TOVA will increase quality of care and accessibility. Elderly patients on blood thinners, for example, often have a reoccurrence of brain bleeding even after it appears to have drained away. TOVA would allow doctors to discharge patients and still monitor their progress through a device, thereby removing the expense of prolonged hospitalizations.  

Prof. Harmelin and Dr. Kalchenko see the significant potential of TOVA and the personal treatment it could provide, calling it a game-changer for how head injuries are treated. From treatments received from hospitals, doctors offices and nursing homesTOVA would be brain-saving technology for anyone at any time.  

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