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Eye-Tracking Device May Help Concussion Diagnoses

Jason Scott

As concerns about concussions and head injuries continue to dominate the discussion when it comes to sports at all levels, businesses are flocking to find ways to prevent, treat and diagnose the condition in hopes of improving outcomes.

Yesterday, Boston-based neuro-technology company SyncThink entered the fray when the FDA cleared its medical device, the Eye-Sync.

The device features a head-mounted eye-tracking system that can record, view, and analyze eye movement using virtual reality software. As reported by Fast Company, the device can use the information it collects to identify abnormal eye movement, a symptom of concussion, in less than a minute.

Eye-Sync tracks user’s eye movement as it displays a dot traveling around a circle. If a user’s eye ‘jumps’ instead of smoothly following the dot, a brain injury may have occurred.

Some athletic programs are already using the technology, and Stanford University Sports Medicine director of athletic training Scott Anderson said in a release that he thinks the device could see widespread use.

“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 concussions with every pro, college, and high school team having one on the field,” Anderson said in the release. “Stanford Sports Medicine currently uses Eye-Sync technology as an investigational device to screen athletes for concussion and make decisions on return to play.” 

Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, founder of SyncThink and president of the Brain Trauma Foundation told Fox News that although the Eye-Sync provides “an objective measure,” the device does not directly diagnose concussions.

“All of the other technologies out there say that they’re ‘diagnosing concussion,’ but there’s no accepted definition,” Ghajar said. “So how are you diagnosing it?”

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