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Technologies and telehealth for diagnosis, management, and treatment of concussion: a systematic review

Technology use for concussion prevention, identification, and management is a burgeoning avenue for research and development.  From the use of phone based applications for preventive education, to computerized testing for baseline assessment (pre-concussion), to eye-movement video tracking and analysis for diagnosis of concussion, the use of technology is rapidly expanding across the continuum of concussion care.  At this time, although there are many technologies and start-up companies offering a range of services around concussion, there is an absence of a non-commercial online location for medical providers to access regarding the functionality of the various technologies used in concussion management.  This makes it difficult for medical providers to navigate between biased claims verses research evidence supporting the best technologies to enhance concussion care.

This systematic review discusses the range of technologies represented in peer-reviewed research.  This includes a description of the technology, its purpose, how it is used, the research supporting (or not supporting) it, etc.  Following the description of technologies represented in research literature, future directions and opportunities for technological development in this area are discussed.  This includes exploration into potential technological advancements for: assessment of risk for concussion, preventive strategies, rehabilitative and neurocognitive interventions, assessment of readiness for return to learn/ return to play, and the use of telehealth for remote concussion management (including on the battlefield and playing field).

This review will be useful for multiple end-users, including a range of medical providers (physicians, neuropsychologists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, etc.) making clinical decisions and for administrators making purchasing decisions.  This review will also be useful to researchers and developers looking for ideas for exploration and development.