Brain injuries can happen, in sports, at work, if you are in an accident – it’s possible to sustain an injury to the brain if you have had a bump on the head. What many people don’t know is that brain injury symptoms can become more apparent with time. While an initial visit to a&e might only give you a concussion diagnosis, ongoing symptoms might be missed if a patient does not familiarise themselves with things to watch for.
Self monitoring is a growing trend, people with fitbits and sleep trackers, all attempting to optimise their health through amassing their own data for analysis. With many apps available for you to customise your self monitoring, it’s possible that a person with brain injury could monitor their health following a trip to a&e to find out if their previously diagnosed concussion is actually something more serious.
The problem with following up from a previous injury, is that people only really look for big, unexpected changes. They are also then unable to give details about when symptoms really started, or how they have progressed. By using customisable trackers, such as apps like Track and Share on the iphone, or the built in health app, patients can track the frequency of obvious symptoms like headaches, blurred vision or mood swings. They can also track less obvious symptoms, such as indications of depression. These can then be shared with a doctor, nurse or even a brain injury solicitor if the patient wants to pursue misdiagnosis compensation.
The next great leap in patient follow up care in the UK would be to standardise this, making sure patients all have access to a reliable way to track post injury symptoms and share them with their primary health provider.