Early Warning Device for Traumatic Brain Injury in Car Accidents

A teenager recently developed a system for a science fair that would calculate the possibility and intensity of traumatic brain injury in the aftermath of a car accident.

In the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona, 16-year-old Justin Krell who lives in Plankinton, South Dakota, presented the prototype for a system that would track a person’s head movement at the time of a car accident. This would enable the calculation of the possibility of concussion. The system is called HardHit, and uses an accelerometer, infrared proximity sensor and microcontroller which together provide the data to measure the forces that impinged on a car passenger at the time of impact.

The system is based on the Arduino system which stores the information in a MicroSD card. The data can be used by medical care professionals to help in the diagnosis of possible traumatic brain injury such as concussion. HardHit is an in-vehicle device which is currently placed directly behind where the driver’s head would be. The system is still being improved to make the information available to first responders as well as for compatibility with other onboard systems such as OnStar from General Motors.

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