By Kyle Davi
BU News Service
LAS VEGAS—While watching any professional sports game today, you’re bound to hear the announcers talking about concussions. Hits to the head are not uncommon, especially in contact sports like hockey and football. Players are usually screened by professionals to determine if they’ve sustained a concussion.
But what happens when some teams at the high school and college levels can’t afford to hire professional medical staff? What if the coach misses a hit? Can a concussion even be accurately diagnosed form the sidelines?
Reflexion Interactive Technologies is looking to change the way concussions are detected with the company’s patent pending prototype of the Reflexion Edge. This small start-up claims that its device can determine if a player has suffered a concussion within 30 seconds, right on the sideline.
“We are looking to protect a generation of athletes,” said Reflexion Interactive Technologies co-founder Mathew Roda.
During their senior year of high school, Roda and fellow co-founders Patrick Walsh and Mathew Campagna learned that most affordable concussion detection devices were still using technology from the 1990s. This prompted the three to come up with a high-tech solution to the problem. After a few years, they came up with the Reflexion Edge.
The device works by testing the user’s peripheral vision, reaction time, motor skills and memory. It features six panels that span across the device, not just the one that was demonstrated. Standing in front of them, the user must press randomly-appearing green lights as fast as they can while not pressing the red lights. After a 30-second test, the computer determines a score for the user.
The score on its own does not tell the user whether or not they received a concussion. Instead, the device is designed for continuous testing on an athlete to determine a trend of data over the course of a season. If a user’s score dips below their average, then it can be assumed they sustained a concussion.
Despite these positives, the Reflexion Edge’s concept for determining concussions has not been proven. Clinical trials begin this Monday at Pennsylvania State University under the supervision of Dr. Semyon Slobounov, a leading concussion researcher.
All three co-founders hope the Reflexion Edge can achieve what it set out to do: make concussion detection easier, accurate, and affordable.