From the battlefield to the playing field, head impact injuries can be difficult to assess quickly. Headed by neurosurgeon and director of the Stanford Medical Concussion and Brain Health Center, Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, MD, PhD, SyncThink has developed a mobile assessment system called Eye-Sync suitable for use in any type of field. According to SyncThink, more than 4 million athletes suffer from concussions each year.
Field sideline cognitive assessments of brain injury are unreliable, according to SyncThink. Eye-Sync works by having a test subject look into a virtual reality headset for 30 seconds. The headset is tethered to a specialized computer tablet that processes the data and gives an assessment quickly. The whole system weighs less than 5 pounds and packs into a small case. The device tracks eye movement as a measure of the ability to pay attention. The whole process takes about 50 seconds according to Dr. Ghajar. While not a medical device, Eye-Sync assists with triage on the sidelines, providing data for trainers and coaches to decide if players can go back in, need to rest, or have to get to a medical facility. The system has scored high reliability levels in more than 10,000 tests with soldiers and athletes, according to SyncThink.
The company says Eye-Sync is limited in the U.S. for investigative use only, which indicates it’s not yet FDA cleared. There’s also no indication on the SyncThink website that the company is seeking the FDA’s blessing. (Note: we have reported on research into other sideline assessment systems that measure eye movement.)