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A voice-analysis program could help coaches recognize concussions ringside or on the side lines, say researchers at the University of Notre Dame.

“Almost 90 percent of concussions go unrecognized,” said Notre Dame computer scientist and engineer Christian Poellabauer in a press release.  To avoid these missed diagnoses, Poellabauer and team designed a diagnostic tool that simply requires someone to speak into a tablet. A program on the mobile device then searches for distorted vowels, hyper nasality and imprecise consonants, all of which are indicators of traumatic brain injury, according to the release.

The researchers tested the app with male and female student boxers. Amongst 125 boxers, they identified nine with concussions, all of which were later confirmed by university doctors.

“This technology offers tremendous potential to reduce the impact of concussive and subconcussive hits to the head,” said Poellabauer.  “This project is a great example of how mobile computing and sensing technologies can transform health care,” he said.

You can see a video about the app and the boxing test below.

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Tagged: Biomedicine, concussions, traumatic brain injury, tablets

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