Boston based SyncThink is looking to revolutionise the detection of concussions among athletes with the release of its EYE-SYNC headset.
The issue of concussions in sports such as American football has been growing in importance over the last few years, with concern rising over their widespread nature and the long-term damage they can cause.
For example, in July the New York Times published a study that looked at the brains of 111 NFL players. Shockingly, 110 of the athletes were exhibiting C.T.E, a degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated concussions and blows to the head. C.T.E can lead to memory loss, depression and dementia.
The EYE-SYNC tracks eye movement in a handheld VR environment in order to quickly detect whether a player’s brain is out of sync. Abnormal eye movement is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion, and the headset can detect it in under 60 seconds.
“The EYE-SYNC technology works as a method of surveillance, assessment, and recovery to reduce the risk of injury for those in all walks of life. There is no way to cheat this technology to convince medical professionals that you aren’t injured when you are, and that’s a giant step to making athletes safer,” said Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, Stanford University Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, chief scientific adviser and founder of SyncThink.
“We have to be able to access objective information to make clinical decisions regarding brain health and this next generation of EYE-SYNC delivers just that.”
The technology has now been cleared for use by the FDA and a number of US universities have announced that they will be adopting the headset.
SyncThink currently has a normative database of over 10,000 individuals and over 40 peer-reviewed research articles.
The EYE-SYNC also allows data to be collected and shared throughout an organisation in order to further the understanding of concussions and their impact on athletes.
“Concussion is the most underreported, under diagnosed and underestimated type of brain trauma. There is no universally accepted, evidence-based definition of concussion and that’s the reason EYE-SYNC is so important to the health of athletes, soldiers, and patients alike,” said Ernest Santin, CEO of SyncThink.
“Through over 10 years of clinical research, and obtaining 10 patents, our team at SyncThink has worked tirelessly to do our part to move brain health and performance into an objective space with the EYE-SYNC technology.”
Scott Anderson, MA, ATC, Director of athletic training for Stanford University Sports Medicine, said:
“In my opinion, the EYE-SYNC device has significant implications for sideline evaluation, and I can see in the future how this can be the diagnostic gold standard for sports related concussion with every pro, college, and high school team having one on the field.”