A Medical Device Daily

Guardian Technologies (Herndon, Virginia), developer of intelligent imaging informatics solutions for the homeland security and healthcare industries, said it has submitted a $3 million R&D proposal to the U.S. Government for funding to expand the current capabilities of Signature Mapping and to engage in a customization initiative of its Signature Mapping technology for battlefield applications. It said the funding would be used to improve detection of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on the battlefield.

Most soldiers wounded in current battle action and subsequently evacuated are injured by explosions, the company said.

Between 2003 and 2005, 28% of all battle injuries included TBI. The majority of those injuries were closed TBI — the injury was not surface detectable. Closed-head injury is often difficult to identify in the field, particularly when it is combined with other serious and more obvious and sometimes life-threatening injuries, Guardian said.

Guardian's signature mapping initiative is designed to improve detection and quantification of TBI on the battlefield via image-processing. The software provides the underlying technology for computer-aided detection (CAD) in medical image processing.

The signature mapping algorithms have evolved from Guardian's patent-pending core threat detection technology, Intelligent Imaging Informatics (3i). The Signature Mapping initiative would apply this software technology for radiologists and non-radiology specialists to more accurately, rapidly, and consistently diagnose defects associated with TBI in the field.

Signature Mapping can be integrated into the current operating system platform of any manufacturer's CT scanner or incorporated into a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) currently deployed in Army MASH units, according to the company. The technology acts as a post-acquisition analysis tool and does not interfere with the radiographic image acquisition process in any way, it said.

The work with the Department of Defense also has a crossover benefit in civilian medicine. According to the Brain Injury Association of America (McLean, Virginia), 1.5 million people in the U.S. will sustain a traumatic brain injury annually. About 55,000 people will die as result of their TBIs annually and 80,000 people will experience onset of long-term disabilities following a TBI.