Pac-12 implements new program to deal with concussions

Schools will integrate technology into current concussion protocols

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

WSU partnered with the rest of the Pac-12 Conference in an effort to support student-athlete health, safety and care in all sports.

The Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative Board approved the Pac-12 Brain Trauma Task Force’s Equipment Grant Proposal, according to a news release on Nov. 20.

The proposal makes all schools in the conference eligible to receive SyncThink EYE-SYNC technology, which will serve as the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative’s comprehensive brain health analytics platform, according to the release.

SyncThink is a neuro-technology world leader with foundational intellectual property in eye-tracking, the release states. University of Colorado was selected to be the Pac-12 Concussion Coordinating Unit to establish consistent brain trauma and concussion data across the conference. The university will act as the conference’s administrative and operations coordinating unit to ensure proper implementation of the program and data collection system.

“The Pac-12 Conference, through our Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative, is committed to taking proactive steps to support the health and well-being of our student-athletes,” Woodie Dixon, senior vice president of business affairs for the Pac-12, said in the release.  “We are excited to partner with SyncThink and their leading technologies to further research the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic head injuries.”

EYE-SNC technology is an FDA Class II medical device that records, views and analyzes eye movements to identify visual tracking impairment using a head-mounted eye-tracking virtual reality system.

The Pac-12 has invested in a number of student health initiatives in recent years. The conference has developed a grant program for collaborative research, implemented a conference-wide injury registry database and an injury spotter program at football games, according to the release.

The NCAA and Department of Defense’s Concussion Assessment and Education Consortium (CARE) established the Pac-12 as a CARE-Affiliated Program and are providing funding in support of the Pac-12 Brain Trauma Task Force’s efforts.

Pac-12 universities will receive the EYE-SYNC technology in January to begin data collection. Each school will integrate the technology into its current concussion protocols and processes.