Concussions are serious business, and people suffering from them should get medical attention as soon as possible. Unfortunately, however, they're often difficult for coaches on the sidelines of playing fields to diagnose. That's where Boston-based SyncThink's Eye-Sync system comes in.
Eye-Sync is a head-mounted eye tracking device that allows for rapid, reliable recording, viewing and analyzing of eye movement impairment through the use of virtual reality. In just 60 seconds, the device is able to determine common deficits after a concussion based on abnormal eye movements.
‘In sports, Eye-Sync can notify trainers if an athlete is suffering from a brain injury in less than a minute, than a medical timeout.’
Eye-Sync can be used in clinics or hospitals, on the sports field and even on the battlefield. In sports, Eye-Sync can notify trainers if an athlete is suffering from a brain injury in less time than a medical timeout, while on the battlefield, commanders can better care for troops when head injuries are detected early, before they become life threatening.
Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, neurosurgeon at Stanford University, president of the Brain Trauma Foundation, and SyncThink founder, told FoxNews.com the product is distinct mainly because it does not claim to diagnose a concussion but rather detects disruption in visual information.
"All of the other technologies out there say that they're 'diagnosing concussion,' but there's no accepted definition, so how are you diagnosing it?" he said.
When coaches or other people suspect that a player may have received a brain injury, they get them to put on the headset. The athlete then follows a small circle on the screen with their eyes, as it moves in various preprogrammed patterns. Cameras within the headset track their eyes as they do so.
If those eye movements are too erratic, it means that they have likely received a concussion - the inability for eyes to smoothly track moving objects is one of the telltale signs that someone has a traumatic brain injury. The coach is made aware of this fact via the tablet, so they can take action accordingly.