Assessment and Diagnosis of Vestibular Indicators of Soldier Operational Readiness (ADVISOR)

Jenkins, M., Wollocko, A., Irvin, S., and Farry, M.

Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS), Ft. Lauderdale, FL (August 2015)

Soldiers suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or barotrauma need accurate, timely, in-theater assessment of symptoms to inform appropriate return to duty (RTD) decisions. Often, this initial assessment and diagnosis must be conducted by first-level responders (e.g., Medics, Corpsmen) who attempt to assess vestibular symptoms and are often present directly following a concussive event; however, these symptoms are often missed, not adequately evaluated, or misdiagnosed due to a lack of familiarity with the subtleties of impaired vestibular function. To address this challenge, we have designed and prototyped a system for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Vestibular Indicators of Soldiers’ Operational Readiness (ADVISOR). ADVISOR combines an integrated hardware platform (centered around a head-mounted display (HMD)) with automated assessment capabilities to provide very low-cost, portable screening capabilities tailored for in-theater use to enable non-vestibular experts to make appropriate RTD decisions. ADVISOR supports multiple stimulus-presentation, and response-capture modalities necessary to support a battery of clinically validated and novel assessment methods (e.g., VEMP, SVV, DVAT, VEST-SOT), and provides intuitive test administration and output interpretation interfaces to both decrease the effort required by the responder, and increase the consistency and accuracy of RTD decisions.

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