Concussion and other trauma caused by head impact are of particular concern to those involved in sports, especially those that involve physical contact. One problem is that detection of concussion remains a largely subjective process. Organizations are making great strides by obtaining baseline data of one sort or another for their athletes, which can be used to compare with data obtained after an apparent injury. Well-funded groups such as professional sports teams can afford to invest in expensive gear to take these measurements, but such purchases are almost certainly out of reach for smaller groups such as college or high school athletic programs.
SyncThink is the company behind Eye-Sync, an eye-tracking system. This device uses a pair of goggles that track eye movements as the test subject follows a dot that moves in a circle. The system measures how well coordinated the movements are between the two eyes in terms of both direction and timing. Impairment in the ability to track the moving image can be an indication of injury. The system is portable and can produce objective results in less than a minute.
In order to make the system more widely available, the company has announced a short-term rental program that can deliver a system to a healthcare professional overnight for $500 per week. The system can be used for baseline measurements as well as after-impact evaluation and recovery monitoring. Rather than have to purchase the system, teams can now rent it on an as-needed basis. This should help team medical staff make objective assessments faster and make better decisions about whether a player is impaired and how to proceed with monitoring their recovery.