New Devices That Are Changing the Way Neurological Exams Are Performed

With the way technology advances in the medical field, it’s only natural that neurology would be next on the list. The brain is a complex organ that affects every part of our body and functions; therefore, doctors must diagnose and treat any issues affecting it properly.

With neurological tools like the NPi pupilometer being used more frequently by doctors, patients can expect more accurate diagnoses and quicker treatment times.

But what other devices are being used to help with neurological exams? Below, we’ll look at new technologies revolutionizing how doctors perform these examinations.

Neurologic Hammer

During a neuro exam, the doctor often uses a hammer to test the patient’s reflexes. This is done by tapping the body part tested with the hammer and then examining how it reacts.

The neurologic hammer measures reflex more accurately than other tools, so doctors can better understand what’s happening with their patients’ bodies and brains.


Every complete neurological examination should include a pupil evaluation. This is because the eyes are one of the most critical organs in the body, and they’re also one of the first places doctors look when trying to diagnose a patient.

To check the pupil diameter measurement, doctors use a penlight and shine it directly into each eye. They then determine how much light is reflected from each pupil.

Snellen Chart

The Snellen Chart is one of the most commonly used tools in a neurological examination. It’s a chart that features letters of different sizes, and doctors use it to test how well patients can see. The chart measures acuity by having patients read each line from 20 feet away.

The chart helps determine how well patients can see and helps doctors determine whether a patient has a visual impairment.


As we’ve mentioned before, pupil measurement is one of the most essential parts of a neurological examination. The pupilometer is an instrument that can measure the size of a patient’s pupils and help doctors determine how well they react to light.

The device has been used for over 100 years and is still one of the most widely used methods for measuring pupil size. The pupilometer comprises a stand holding the device, a light source that shines on the patient’s eye (natural or artificial light), and a magnifying lens.

Tuning fork

A neuro exam includes several tests that help doctors assess how well the patient’s brain functions. The tuning fork test is one example, and it’s used to measure the vibration sensitivity of the patient’s hearing. A tuning fork (or vibrating fork) is an instrument with two prongs that vibrate when struck against another surface or each other.

This device helps doctors know how the brain receives and processes sound. The tuning fork test is performed by holding the vibrating end of a tuning fork against the patient’s ear canal and then moving it away from the head. As you move it away from them, they should hear a change in pitch as the frequency decreases.

New approaches to neurological exams

Now that we know about the newest devices and technologies that can assist doctors in performing neurological exams, let’s look at some novel approaches to neurological exams.

The Glasgow Coma Scale is a neurological exam tool developed by a neurologist named Bryan Jennett. It’s used by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals worldwide to evaluate how responsive patients are after suffering from head trauma or stroke.

It involves asking patients questions about their consciousness, eye movement, and motor skills. The neurologist will also assess the patient’s ability to recognize certain words or objects. When a person suffers from a brain injury, they may have difficulty answering these questions because they cannot access the information they need.

Therefore, the Glasgow Coma Scale is one way to determine whether someone has suffered brain damage. It also tracks recovery after a patient has experienced a head injury or stroke.


New and innovative devices are constantly being invented to facilitate neurological examination, and we cannot dismiss their usefulness. Even though disposables will always be there, doctors can only do an exam properly with newer and better patient assessment methods.