Virtual reality used to improve concussion detection in NFL
Virtual reality has been making appearances in the world of American Football for some time, but there is a different use of this innovation which is catching peoples attention.
The issue of concussions in contact sports like NFL and boxing, has resulted in numerous studies on the research around the short and long term ramifications if concussions are left undiagnosed – one which SyncThink set out to solve.
SyncThink has adapted the recent innovation, virtual reality, to discover concussions sooner and with more precision. The device called Eye-Sync has been granted FDA approval for the use as a concussion testing device.
The technology uses a series of cameras on the inside of a VR headset, DK2 Oculus Rift, along with an eye tracking algorithm to measure eye-movement whilst following a point around your field of view.
The Eye-Sync technology has cut brain impairment tests from 30-40 minutes to less than a minute, making quick detection possible, helping to highlight early signs of brain trauma.
SyncThink wanted the system to be user-friendly, for this reason the Eye-Sync Unit weighs less than five pounds, making it highly portable to bring to injured players. Stanford University is one of a few college football teams in the U.S. which used the equipment last season successfully.
The NFL has been slow to adopt new technology to the game in regards to concussion diagnosis, but they have recently introduced Virtual and Augmented technology to help expand consumer experiences. With this information, the company’s goal of bringing their system to the NFL in the coming years may be a real possibility, helping with both the detection and recovery from concussions.
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