MINNEAPOLIS — The start of football season brings the return of that important topic: Concussions.
There’s a new test that was approved by the FDA in December that could change the game, and its creator is from Minneapolis.
The test uses a camera to track each eye, as the patient watches a 220-second video, which is moving in a square motion around a screen.
Dr. Uzma Samadani has been working on the EyeBOX for 10 years. It’s the first approved minimally-invasive concussion diagnostic, doing what no other test can.
“He can follow my finger, but I’m not going to be able to detect really subtle differences between the right eye and the left eye just by looking at him,” Samadani said.
When Jon Johnston came in, his scans showed nothing wrong. But this test, showed his eyes moving out of sync and independent of each other, proved otherwise.
“When a normal person watches the video, their eyes are moving together in the horizontal plane, whereas his eyes are not,” said Samadani.
“This takes some of the uncertainty out of it, and that’s a huge factor I think,” said Johnston.
Theoretically, this test could be used on a football sideline now, conducted by a medical professional. But a consumer-friendly version might change in-game concussion protocols in a big way. A phone version of the test is in the works and could be available sooner than later.
“Probably one or two years,” said Samadani.