Abbott and the US Department of Defense (DoD) have collaborated to develop portable blood tests to help assess potential concussions, also called mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Under the multi-phased approach, the tests would be developed for Abbott’s i-STAT System, a handheld, diagnostic analyser that is currently used for other point-of-care testing, including testing among military service members.
US Army medical research and materiel command brain health coordinator Colonel Dr Dallas Hack said: "The quick and accurate diagnosis of a concussion is critical so that soldiers who are affected, whether on the battlefield or not, can be removed from duty to recover and to prevent further injury.
"The DoD collaboration with Abbott represents a major initiative to help improve efforts to understand this complex injury and care for wounded warriors suffering from this condition."
According to the research, certain proteins are released in the bloodstream following a brain injury, such as a concussion.
The results have shown that detecting a mild traumatic brain injury can be difficult since imaging technology may not show abnormalities, while symptoms can be similar to or mistaken for other medical conditions.
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Abbott Diagnostics board certified neurologist and medical director Dr Beth McQuiston said: "Medical advances are needed to help more quickly assess concussions.
"The collaboration between Abbott and the Department of Defense is an important step in ensuring that military service members, and ultimately civilians, receive proper evaluation.
"These new tests could open the door to many possibilities for evaluating concussions and helping clinicians optimise care and outcomes."
TBIs are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.
TBIs are common among US military service members and 84% are caused by training, accidents, illness and non-combat assignments.