The DOD 2009.3 SBIR Solicitation just released is accepting proposals on a number of topics. The Army’s SBIR program is particularly interested in the development of a portable device to diagnose soldiers that are at risk for mTBI and PTSD following their injury and recovery period.
The American Academy of Neurology has established diagnostic criteria for TBI based upon gross behavioral and affective symptoms. These symptoms are difficult to observe in many battlefield situations and may provide only a superficial description of what may be a distinctly complicated injury.
Mild TBI is uniquely difficult to diagnose due to the often delayed and subtle presentation of symptoms. Additionally, many of the symptoms that present for mTBI are also common to other battlefield related neuropsychological conditions such as Acute Stress Disorder and PTSD
Since this is the case, the Army is seeking a non-invasive tool that could provide important information regarding a soldier’s mental health status through the detection and monitoring of biological patterns and/or signals.
For the Army to gather the volume of data needed, a portable inexpensive device is needed to be used near the forward edge of the battle area. The device also needs to be transportable by vehicles to remote sites and have the capacity to provide data comparable to legacy neuro-imaging devices. This new device must use non-invasive techniques to gather the data, provide functional, spatial, and electrophysiological data, collect data from medically relevant areas of the cortex, and allow sufficient freedom-of-movement for the patient to conduct limited physical/cognitive tasks.
Developing the models to diagnose PTSD and mTBI is not the focus for this solicitation. What the Army is looking for is a device that will provide the developmental platform and the data for in-house researchers to derive diagnostic models.
DOD is now accepting proposals for the DOD 2009.3 SBIR Solicitation due on September 23, 2009. For information on all the SBIR solicitation topics and on the need for the portable device, go to www.acq.osd.mil.osbp/sbir/solicitations/sbir093/index.htm. The contact information on the portable device topic (A09-157) is Kenneth Pitts, Kenneth.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-233-4539.