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Moving beyond ‘follow my finger’

Upgraded EyeBOX device for concussion diagnosis

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Last summer, Bothwell Regional Health Center became the first health system in Missouri to have an EyeBOX, an FDA-cleared device that aids specifically in the diagnosis of concussion by measuring abnormalities in eye movements. 

Patients who have suffered a head injury watch a four-minute video and the device tracks eye movements with a safe, high-frequency camera. The test produces a score that provides objective data about the person’s condition that can aid in the diagnosis of concussion within one week of injury. 

This summer, Bothwell upgraded its device to the latest model created by Oculogica, a company formed in 2013 by neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani.

Certified Physician Assistant Lindsey Graham, who practices at Bothwell Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, was trained on how to use the original device and has been using it to administer tests to people with a variety of head injuries from falls to sports collisions. 

“We have completed 18 scans since Bothwell acquired the EyeBOX last August,” she said. “The majority of our scans were completed during football season last year. Since the EyeBOX is gaining more traction, I anticipate a big increase in those numbers during this fall’s football season. A new protocol we’re exploring is where all applicable patients seen in the Emergency Department with a concussion will be assessed with the EyeBOX on an outpatient basis.”

Graham said the biggest difference between the original model and the new EyeBOX model is the size. 

“The new model is smaller and lighter and comes with a battery that allows it to be portable,” she said. “Oculogica has also integrated a concussion questionnaire into the new software update that corresponds to the questionnaire we currently use as part of the patient evaluation. Overall, the new model has a friendlier interface that improves the user experience.”

The addition of a full-time neurologist to Bothwell’s medical staff means people who have been diagnosed with a concussion can now receive needed follow-up care without leaving the area. 

“The EyeBOX is a beneficial tool to aid in the diagnosis of concussions; however, patients still need proper management after the diagnosis of a concussion that requires the help of specially trained health care professionals,” Graham said. “Having a full-time neurologist as part of Bothwell’s team will allow us to provide exceptional concussion care locally. We will be able to communicate directly with a specialist when needed and have the ability to refer patients quickly when necessary.”

People who have had a head injury should be seen in the Emergency Department or by a health care practitioner who can order an EyeBOX assessment at Bothwell Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. The EyeBOX assessment should be conducted within one week of

injury or accident.

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