A little over two years ago, we looked at a hand-held device known as the Infrascanner Model 1000, which uses near infra-red light to detect traumatic brain injuries. Now, the InfraScan company has received US Food and Drug Administration approval to market the 1000’s improved successor, the Infrascanner Model 2000.

Developed in partnership with the US Navy and Marine Corps, the 2000 is held against the patient’s head in eight pre-determined locations – just like the 1000. Using two disposable light guides, it then emits near infra-red laser light through the cranium and into the surface of the brain. As the light is reflected back to the Infrascanner, the device’s optical detector is able to differentiate between circulating blood and pooled blood (as would occur in a hematoma), due to the fact that the pooled blood absorbs more light.

In the case of the 1000, features such as display, controls and data processing are all located on a separate Bluetooth-linked PDA. The 2000, however, has all of those things contained within the one unit. It’s also been made more rugged (for use on locations such as battlefields), plus it can run on four regular AA batteries if its own NiMH battery pack can’t be recharged.

Along with its obvious military applications, the Infrascanner Model 2000 is also intended for use by civilians in fields such as sports. US customers can purchase it from MedLogic – pricing is available on request.