Ahead 300 is a non-invasive, hand-held electroencephalographic (EEG) technology to help clinicians objectively assess mildly-presenting head injured patients.
Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an acquired brain trauma which can be caused by a fall or sudden bump or blow to the head, and a common form of mild TBI is a concussion. It is estimated that more than 95% of patients with a potential head injury in the emergency room present mild symptoms. Most of these patients receive a CT scan and more than 90% do not show any structural damage. Therefore, there is a need for a device that will help clinicians at point-of-care reduce unnecessary radiation exposure and improve mild head injury diagnoses.
The Ahead 300 is a FDA-approved, handheld medical device developed by the Maryland-based company BrainScope. Ahead 300 helps clinicians rapidly and objectively assess patients with mild head injury symptoms across the full spectrum of brain injury. It facilitates a diagnosis by focusing on two key clinical questions:
- Is it likely that the mildly presenting head-injured patient has a traumatic structural brain injury which would be visible on a CT scan, which is the gold standard used in Emergency Rooms? and
- Is there evidence of something functionally abnormal with the brain after head injury which could be concussion?
The Ahead 300 system is composed of a single-use, disposable electrode headset and a handheld device which together acquires and analyzes brain electrical activity. The headset is self-adhesive and its design facilitates the correct positioning of electrodes for different head sizes. The Ahead 300 handheld device analyzes patient EEG data using algorithms that incorporate machine learning technology to identify patterns of brainwaves suggestive of mild brain injury. The two-component system can be adapted to smart phones and tablets.
In order to answer the above questions, Ahead 300 enables the user to conduct two EEG-based objective tests that provide information as to whether the patient requires a CT scan and if they display brain electrical activity that is reflective of possible mild traumatic brain injury. Two objective cognitive performance tests are also available to assess how the patient’s performance compares to healthy individuals of the same age. In addition, Ahead 300 has 16 standard concussion assessment tools which can be used by the clinician if needed. All test results are displayed on a summary screen and a summary report can be shared with the patient and other health care providers.
The Ahead 300 device has the potential to reduce costs and wait times associated with visits to the hospital and CT scans, as well as unnecessary exposure of patients to radiation. Since the device can be used at point-of-care by physicians, mild head injury can be rapidly identified to improve clinical diagnoses and reduce the overall mortality of head-injured patients so that they can soon return to work, school, or play.
As the first product commercially available to heath care professionals, Ahead 300 is currently available to selected thought leaders located in urgent care clinics, concussion clinics, emergency medicine departments, and university and professional sports groups.
Written By: Fiona Wong, PhD