Damage to the brain can have significant consequences all around the body. Traumatic brain injuries occur when someone experiences a forceful impact on the head, but just as much damage can be done by non-traumatic events such as strokes and aneurysms.
Any kind of brain injury can disrupt cognitive function, as well as inflict physical and behavioural changes. The most severe circumstances can dramatically impact a person’s quality of life, but technology is playing a key role in protecting some of this.
From adapted home accessories to voice generation devices, advanced innovations are supporting those with severe brain injuries to live a better life.
How common are brain injuries?
Research suggests that 55 million people worldwide are living with the consequences of traumatic brain injury, representing a significant number of people impacted physically and emotionally. It also points to a large draw on public funds and healthcare systems.
Acquired brain injury is the umbrella term used to describe any damage that occurs after birth. This can include birthing complications where a baby’s head suffers trauma, or events in later life where the brain is impacted.
Traumatic injuries occur when a forceful impact to the head damages the brain inside the skull. These can occur in many different settings such as sports, road traffic collisions and accidents at work.
Events such as strokes and aneurysms are referred to as non-traumatic injuries and occur when the typical functioning of the brain is disrupted from within, usually from an issue with blood supply.
There are many cases of brain injury claims where people have received compensation after suffering life-altering injuries because of someone else’s negligence or actions.
How is technology assisting patients?
Severe brain injuries can significantly disrupt the physical and cognitive functions of a patient. In order to provide the highest quality treatment, technology is often used to improve patients’ quality of living and to help them regain some form of independence.
Rudimentary technology such as wheelchairs and scooters are important in supporting patients with mobility issues. These can help to give people who have experienced a brain injury a greater sense of independence from day to day.
Other technologies such as automated medication dispensers and adapted home accessories have been instrumental in assisting people with daily tasks. This can reduce the reliance on assisted living, which is often difficult for sufferers to come to terms with.
More advanced technology is applied to allow those with severe brain injuries to integrate back into work and education environments. Speech recognition and voice generation devices can provide the ability to communicate if the function has been lost. These Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices have been revolutionary in drastically improving people’s quality of life in some of the most severe circumstances of brain injury.