A number of Villanova University faculty members are putting their minds to work on head injuries. From student and professional athletes, to military personnel and the elderly, conditions affecting the brain—and how to diagnose them—are of increasing interest to researchers around the globe. In the College of Engineering, professors across disciplines are pursuing independent, yet interconnected projects related to brain impact and injuries.
Monitoring Effects of Multiple Impacts
In the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Assistant Professor Edmond J. Dougherty ’69 EE, ’86 MSCS, director of the College’s Engineering Entrepreneurship program, is on his fourth prototype for BandaVida. Currently a six-inch, one-ounce strip designed to be worn in a headband, the device electronically monitors the direction, duration and magnitude of impacts and vibrations to the head over time. It can store up to 30 years of data. As Dougherty explains: “While we all know that a large impact to a person’s head will cause a concussion, only recently has the medical community realized the seriousness of smaller repetitive impacts over time and the effect multiple concussions can have on the health of a person. Such head impacts can lead to long term neurological problems that can greatly affect a person’s quality of life.”