Omari Nawankudu and Hesham Alfri
A clinically relevant and profoundly devastating group of medical conditions known as Disorders of Consciousness (DOC) present a considerable diagnostic difficulty. Resolution of states with overlapping symptoms is hampered by patients' inability to explain their physical state and uncertainty in our understanding of consciousness. Additionally, the demographics of a patient group that is susceptible are growing, which worsens the effects of these conditions. In an effort to clarify the complexities of consciousness, a variety of diagnostic strategies have been developed. These strategies prioritise behavioural assessment but also call for additional technical approaches in order to formally identify the underlying brain correlates. The two main technologies employed in clinical settings today are electropotential technology and neuroimaging, both of which have unique diagnostic advantages. Although lacking in temporal fidelity, neuroimaging allows for the precise spatial resolution of brain regions connected to arousal and awareness, two aspects of consciousness that are altered by DOC. In contrast, electropotential recordings can record electrical impulses on physiological time scales but are unable to precisely identify their source. The technical boundaries of both technology classes are being surpassed by current innovations. Qualitatively new dimensions of analysis, such as distinct physical signatures, dynamic causal relations, representational information content, and elicitation paradigms for detecting covert awareness, can be anticipated, supported by parallel developments in digital processing and artificial intelligence.