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7.21.2015

UM Sports Medicine Researchers and Athletes Test Concussion Detection Goggles

The University of Miami football team and the women’s soccer and volleyball teams helped the Miller School of Medicine Division of Sports Medicine test new goggles that detect mild traumatic brain injury last week at the Hecht Athletic Center. UM researchers are relying on feedback from the student athletes to fine-tune programming in the I-Portal PAS Goggle, developed by Neuro Kinetics, Inc.

“This is the first time it’s being used on athletes,” said Mikhaylo Szczupak, M.D., a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology, “and it’s being done for the first time at the University of Miami.”

The I-Portal PAS goggle has been outfitted with software including diagnostic tests that can determine, at the site of injury, whether an athlete can return to the field or needs to seek further medical attention for mild traumatic brain injury. The athletes, who volunteered their time, were excited to be a part of the week’s testing.

“Everything with technology is so much more innovative now,” said Shannon McCarthy, a defender on the women’s soccer team. “So to have computerized, concrete findings on the spot that seem super accurate can only make us athletes safer and better off in the long run.”

Media also were interested in the latest steps being taken by researchers. Print, television and radio outlets attended the testing to learn more about the technology and gauge the athletes’ reaction to the goggle.

The project continues to advance under the guidance of the University of Miami Sports Medicine and Performance Institute and the Athletics Department, with help from Lee Kaplan, M.D., Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine; Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., Director of the Concussion Program; and Vinny Scavo, Head Athletic Trainer. The work is funded by a grant to Michael E. Hoffer, M.D., Director of the Vestibular and Balance Program in the Department of Otolaryngology, from the NFL, Under Armour and General Electric.

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