Intellectual property patent status

Until now, there has been no existing technology that can detect Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in patients with sufficient efficiency and sensitivity at the time of injury. A new, non-invasive method and device has been developed to overcome this problem – providing users with information on TBI severity at the point of injury and post-injury to monitor the progression of TBI.

TBI background


In 2019 alone, neurotrauma affected 135 million people worldwide, and cost economies £897 billion. In the UK, the annual cost of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to the NHS is £7.5 billion. TBI can cause mild to severe injury to the brain and needs to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to prevent further irreversible damage to the patient’s physical and cognitive health. 

There is currently no point-of-care technology on the market that provides this capability. It was essential for this gap in the market to be addressed to save lives and improve the long-term quality of life of people affected by TBI.

The solution

Jointly developed by the University of Birmingham and the Ministry of Defence, and supported by Ploughshare, EyeTBI is a portable point-of-care device which transforms the way users can diagnose neurological diseases such as TBI. By enabling much more efficient diagnoses of TBI from the time of injury, patients can receive medical care more quickly which reduces the risk of death or serious long-term health complications. This device has the potential to help up to 135 million people each year. 

The device uses Raman spectroscopy to detect and analyse neuromarker compositions in the patient (i.e. changes to the proteins and lipids in the cells that form the optic nerve, which occur from trauma to the head). This allows the user to accurately detect subtle changes in brain and eye tissues to diagnose TBI in the patient. 

Key benefits

  • The device can be used at the site of the injury to enable rapid diagnosis of TBI. 
  • EyeTBI is non-invasive, portable, and cost-effective. 
  • The device is able to diagnose the level of severity of TBI.  
  • Decision support tools for the device have been developed using AI to rapidly classify TBI. The interpretation of Raman data is automated and does not require specialist support, dramatically improving the speed and cost of diagnosis. 
TBI paramedics (1)

Potential applications

EyeTBI 5

Traumatic brain injury detection 

By enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment in TBI cases, users have the potential to save lives or reduce lasting physical or cognitive health issues in patients and improve their quality of life. Due to its portability, the device can be used by medical professionals in any setting where head traumas occur (for example, by paramedics at the scene of an accident, medical teams on sports fields, or medics on the front line). 

Further diagnostic potential 

EyeTBI can be seen as a platform technology, with substantial long-term potential across a range of diseases, including early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy, dementia, or monitoring drug delivery to the brain.

EyeTbi Further diagnostic potential

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