AutoTRIAGE: clinical, computational & biomechanical investigation of the feasibility of using vehicular event data recorders for assessing head trauma

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Design Engineering

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading injury type amongst vehicle occupants, with serious cases requiring the deployment of substantial emergency service resources. The purpose of this research is to explore the feasibility of using data recorded by the embedded sensors on a vehicle to instantaneously indicate the severity of TBI experienced in a collision and rapidly direct the deployment of emergency service resources, maximising the likelihood of a positive outcome. The implementation of AutoTRIAGE within vehicles has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of road traffic collisions on the number of deaths and serious injuries.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
1974730 Studentship EP/R512540/1 02/10/2017 30/11/2021 Claire Elizabeth Baker
 
Description We have analysed in-depth road traffic collision data to determine the prevalence and types of brain injuries sustained in real-world accidents. We've analysed different risk factors that lead to specific or more severe traumatic brain injuries. We have highlighted some relations between traumatic brain injury type and severity and physical collision characteristics that could feasibly be recorded by in-vehicle sensors. Note that these findings are awaiting peer review for journal publication.

The link below is a non-specialist audience 'white paper' article introducing the field which is useful for a non-specialist reader.

So far the awards aims have been partially met (award still active for another 19 months).
Exploitation Route By better understanding the relationship between collision characteristics and injury outcomes, policy makers can mitigate from these injuries in future. In this manor we hope to positively influence road safety policy and technology. This has already begun happening through contribution to the UNECE DSSAD/EDR working group (https://wiki.unece.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=87621709).

Additionally, our aim is to relate injury outcomes to physical characteristics that can be recorded by data during a crash. When done in real-time, this can build on existing eCall type systems to help streamline the emergency service response to road traffic collisions, improving patient outcomes by better optimising emergency medical resources.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL https://www.concussionzone.com/users/318476-claire-baker/posts/56405-smart-sensors-predicting-traumatic-brain-injury-in-road-traffic-collisions
 
Description I (Claire Baker) directly applied the knowledge about in-vehicle sensor systems I have gained through this project. I helped to produce a guidance report put together for the European Commission. The report directs new legislation surrounding a specific type of in-vehicle sensors that are key for road safety as we move towards autonomy on the roads with vehicles becoming smarter and more connected. This new legislation is predicted to reduce fatality and serious injury across Europe. You can read part of the report here: https://wiki.unece.org/download/attachments/92014028/EDR-DSSAD-04-05%20Consolidated%20Review%20of%20Contracting%20Party%20EDR%20Activities%20%26%20Way%20Forward.pdf?api=v2
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Transport
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Contribution to DSSAD/EDR UNECE Working Group Guiding European Road Safety Policy
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Contributed to the DSSAD/EDR Working Group in particular through research into current use of in-vehicle sensors for collision response and mitigation. I co-wrote a report summarising these findings for the European Commission, which has since been used to direct incoming policy legislation.
URL https://wiki.unece.org/download/attachments/92014028/EDR-DSSAD-04-05%20Consolidated%20Review%20of%20...
 
Description Thames Valley Trauma Research Network Meeting
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Traumatic Brain Injury in Motor Vehicle Collisions Working Group Meeting
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Contributed to discussion within the WG6 TR19222 sub committee on brain injury which is a long standing international group of researchers and OEMs. Such discussions from this working group have guided many vehicle safety and road policy improvements over the years.
 
Title Free-text analysis of in-depth road accident data 
Description The GB in-depth accident database is known as RAIDS. Through this project I've created a new way to analyse the clinical information within this database. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Publication currently in prep for this technique and novel findings from the data having applied this technique. This information once published will be available publically. 
 
Description Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) AutoTRIAGE Collaboration 
Organisation Transport Research Laboratory Ltd (TRL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I have worked on a number of projects for TRL including data coding of fatal injuries on GB roads and a project for the European Commission as part of the UNECE DSSAD-EDR working group to guide in-vehicle sensor legislation across Europe.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of software PC Crash, expertise in collision reconstruction, training in collision data handling and analysis, research guidance, connection to other in-field experts globally.
Impact Report written for the European Commission as part of the UNECE DSSAD-EDR working group to guide in-vehicle sensor legislation across Europe which will guide future policy. (Part of this report and other WG outputs can be seen https://wiki.unece.org/download/attachments/92014028/EDR-DSSAD-04-05%20Consolidated%20Review%20of%20Contracting%20Party%20EDR%20Activities%20%26%20Way%20Forward%20Rev%202.pdf?api=v2). This work spans collision data analysis and reconstruction.
Start Year 2017
 
Description BioEng19 Conference Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk on findings of traumatic brain injury on Britain's roads
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Design Engineering Summer Show 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Open day for design engineering showcasing research to non-specialist audience. Purpose was for the school to demonstrate its bredth of research, gain interest from potential collaborators, spark questions and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Imperial Festival 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As a cohort we developed and presented four activities for a CDT Neurotechnology stand at the Imperial Festival 2018. The annual Imperial festival aims to share with a wide audience the research being carried out at the college and get the public excited by science. The activities, based in the "Robot Zone" of the festival, aimed to explain some of the problems and goals of modern Neurotechnology. In the "Mind Games" section, visitors could control games with signals from their central and peripheral nervous systems. The first game used a myoband sensor worn on the arm to detect electrical activity of the muscles. These signals were used to control a spacecraft in an immersive space-invaders arcade game. In Neurotechnology such biosignals are commonly used to control bionic prosthetic limbs. Here the visitors could see how hard it is both for engineers to come up with an intuitive control strategy, and for patients to control something using this technique. The second game challenged visitors to break a plastic spoon with the power of their mind! We measured brain waves with a simple EEG headset and applied an algorithm to measure the attention level of the participant. If the visitor concentrated hard enough they were able to drive a motor, pulling the spoon by a string until it eventually broke. This activity demonstrated another common neurotechnology application: the brain-machine interface (BMI), which aims to allow communication between the brain and something that is "driven" by the brain (in this case, the motor). Visitors could measure how 'strong' their brains were and whether they could break the spoon.
The second section, "Mind Melodies", focussed on exploring the sense of hearing. The first exhibit 'SpiKiss' allowed visitors to create music with their mind, using an EEG headset. Different frequencies of recorded brain waves were used to control pitch and tempo of the sounds created; melodies created by relaxed brains were slower and calmer, while those with energetic thoughts were vigorous and fast. The final exhibit showed visitors what brains actually sound like! Before the Festival we conducted an experiment in which one student was presented with series of tones, whilst his brain activity was measured via electrodes. Later the signal obtained in response to each tone was processed and could be played back to produce a sound. We then mapped the 'sounds of the brain' to keys of a keyboard and allowed visitors to see for themselves what the brain sounds like and compare it to the sounds that evoked the response.

Understanding and interpreting brain activity is one of the greatest problems in neurotechnology. In these exhibits, visitors could scratch the surface of this problem by looking for similarities between the stimulus and the brain's response. The exhibits generated questions and discussions from a wide range of visitors about brain activity, BMIs, neuroscience and about the specific work that the students at the CDT for Neurotechnology are engaged in, and the impact of these activities on patients, device development etc. The stands were very popular, attracting over 500 visitors over two days, of varying ages and education level. Positive verbal feedback from visitors confirmed their enjoyment of the activities and that the exhibit had raised visitors' awareness of neurotechnology research, its importance and applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/festival/whats-on/events-programme/activities/robot-zone-2.php
 
Description NeuroTrauma UK 2018 Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk about the scope of the AutoTRIAGE project and the place of emergency responders amid its proposed technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2018
URL https://player.vimeo.com/video/303672327
 
Description Talk at Frontiers in TBI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk on the AutoTRIAGE findings to do with traumatic brain injury rates on GB roads
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk at Neurotechnology Symposium 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Gave a talk on the AutoTRIAGE findings to do with traumatic brain injury rates on GB roads
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019