The first handheld device intended to aid in the detection of life-threatening bleeding in the skull has been approved for marketing by the FDA. The device, called the Infrascanner Model 1000, can help health care providers identify patients with critical head injuries who need an immediate brain imaging study. Made by InfraScan Inc. of Philadelphia, the device uses a near-IR scanner, which can nondestructively penetrate the skull through tissue and bone. Blood from the intracranial hematomas absorbs the light differently than that from other areas of the brain. The scanner detects differences in light absorption and transmits the information wirelessly to a display on a handheld computer.
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