When Reflexion Interactive’s Matt Roda was in high school, he suffered a severe concussion during a hockey game that laid him out for months. At the time, his coach put him back in the game after asking asinine questions like who was president and what year it was. The experience inspired him and his friends to begin investigating a better way for high schools to detect concussions without buying expensive gear. A few years later, and the Reflexion Edge was born.
Reflexion Edge is a billboard-style display that spans about five feet wide and has a grid of LEDs on the front. The idea is that players will, at the start of the season, conduct a series of short spatial awareness and cognition tests standing in front of it. For instance, tapping a single light as it activates — a test felt like a pretty boring version of Whac-A-Mole without the comedy animal violence. Once a baseline has been found for each player, they can do follow-up tests through the season that take just 30 seconds.
More importantly, should a player suffer a suspected concussion, the team hopes that the Edge can diagnose it within half a minute. They simply replay the test on the side of the field and if their stats deviate too much from the baseline, they’re sent to the emergency room. Now, it’s a little rough-and-ready and not the most accurate, but then most high schools don’t have the funds to pay for expensive scanning gear. In fact, the prototype version of the device cost less than a thousand dollars.
One idea that the team are kicking around is that the device, when not being used as a diagnostic tool, could be used as a billboard. That way, high schools could recoup some of the cost through the ads that would run on it during games. Alternatively, they could sell the device at cost and make money through a subscription during the sports season.
The three friends are now each at a different college (Case Western, Penn State and Cornell) but continue to develop the device in their spare time. They’re planning to spend the rest of the year running a clinical study to validate the efficacy of the Edge and, if all goes to plan, have it ready for sale by 2018.
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