New App Aims To Assess Concussions In Young Patients

ELKINS PARK, Pa. (CBS) — The number of teenagers suffering concussions has increased 71 percent in the last five years. There’s growing awareness about head injuries, but they can be tricky to diagnose.

Moss Rehab is testing a new app that could someday help doctors better understand and manage young concussion patients.

Amanda Rabinowitz with  Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute developed a new app that assess concussions. “Symptoms can be really difficult to interpret because they are so vague in nature,” Rabinowitz explains.

With a growing number of concussions being diagnosed in young athletes, doctors say it’s important to track the symptoms to know when it’s safe to get back in the game. Rabinowitz says, “Instead of doing a traditional approach which is asking someone how they are doing at one moment in time…we can get this real time data of how they are feeling as they go about their day from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed.”

The app, on a smart phone or iPad asks a series of questions that are answered 5 times a day — things like sleepiness, headache, light sensitivity.

“The  information is all uploaded to a database in real time,” said Rabinowitz. “So the clinician could check in on a day to day basis and see immediately that someone is recovering nicely or maybe they are having a lot symptoms first thing in the morning. It gives us much richer source of information for which we might be able to find patterns that are clinically relevant.”

Moss Rehab is looking for newly diagnosed concussion patients between the ages of 15-35  to help test the app for 20 days. The research project is hoping to determine if real-time symptom assessment can be used in future studies to improve treatment of concussion.

Click here for more information or to sign up or call 215-663-7129.

More from Stephanie Stahl

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