The eye-tracking headset will be used on the sidelines to detect signs of player concussions in real-time.
With every sports technology company hard at work to find a solution for player concussions, it’s no surprise that VR would eventually make its way into the fold. Where many organizations are focused on protecting brains and preventing any damaging effects, especially with football protective gear, one group in particular is using VR to quickly and efficiently detect trauma to the head directly from the sidelines. In fact the technology is so promising that Iowa State University has already announced plans to integrate the technology into their popular sports program.
Developed by SyncThink, a Boston, Massachusetts-based neuro-technology company, EyeSink is a portable VR headset that uses built-in eye-tracking technology to detect and identify signs of a concussion in less than a minute. The device measures both ocular-motor impairments and vestibular deficiencies, common symptoms of a recent concussion. The ability to quickly detect any trauma makes this a perfect tool for clinicians to use on the sidelines.
Once the headset is placed on a player suspected of suffering from a concussion, they’ll undergo a test where they follow a dot moving in a circle at a constant pace. The device then measures the players ability to follow the dot, a task which should be easy for those not suffering from any form of head trauma. While the dot will appear to be moving in a perfectly round motion for a normal individual, it will scatter and deviate for those with a concussion.
The FDA-cleared headset also serves a purpose off the sideline, providing a simple method for monitoring the recovery time from an injury even after the game. The VR device is safe to use regularly, which means clinicians are able to apply it to patients several times to measure improvements, also allowing for a customized experience for each patient.
Iowa State University will begin by bringing the technology into their football and wrestling programs with plans to adopt it into other sports programs as well as include it in the University’s concussion management protocol. Eye-Sync was originally developed at Stanford University in California where it’s already been integrated into all of the teams in their program.