Conventional brain-imaging modalities may be limited by high cost, difficulty of bedside use, noncontinuous operation, invasiveness or an inability to obtain measurements of tissue function, such as oxygenation during stroke. Our goal was to develop a bedside clinical device able to generate continuous, noninvasive, tomographic images of the brain using low-power nonionizing optical radiation. We modified an existing stage-based time-of-flight optical tomography system to allow imaging of patients under clinical conditions. First, a stationary headband consisting of thin, flexible optical fibers was constructed. The headband was then calibrated and tested, including an assessment of fiber lengths, the existing system software was modified to collect headband data and to perform simultaneous collection of data and image reconstruction, and the existing hardware was modified to scan optically using this headband. The headband was tested on resin models and allowed for the generation of tomographic images in vitro; the headband was tested on critically ill infants and allowed for optical tomographic images of the neonatal brain to be obtained in vivo.