New technology could make it easier to screen for concussions

Technology to screen for concussions
Updated: Feb. 22, 2017 at 11:57 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It was not that long ago that some parents would encourage, almost push, their sons towards playing football, they'd push their sons and daughters into soccer. That may not have changed in every case, but more and more parents are becoming concerned about the long term effects of concussions.

One of the biggest concerns among High School Administrators and coaches is screening for and diagnosing concussions. Matt Campagna is a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University and the CEO of startup Reflexion Interactive Technologies and he believes his company has developed a product that will make it easier to screen for concussions.

The prototype is a 6 feet long by 2 feet tall board, mounted on a stand, that forces athletes to move and react to a series of blinking lights.

"What we are actually measuring is an entire host of Neuro-Cognitive functions that includes peripheral awareness, depth perception, complex reaction time, memory and even balance," Campagna says.

The screening process would require all athletes to go through a baseline screening, and  every athlete would be tested after every game and any changes to their test result would require a trip to a doctor.

"By testing every athlete after every game, it only takes 30 seconds, you can determine if a mild concussion occurred that nobody recognizes," Campagna says.

The system is portable and can be used on the sideline. Athletes can be tested in game and that information used to help a doctor or a trainer make a decision on a return to play,  which is, according to Campagna, the critical component of concussion protocol.

"If you can catch a concussion almost everyone can recover, 100 percent, but actually 80 percent of secondary concussions in sports occur within 10 days of a prior concussion."

Reflexion Interactive Technologies is partnered with the Penn State Center of Concussion Research, the clinical trial should be done in May and they hope the product is on the market by 2018.

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