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Premier Lacrosse League Adopts Eye-Sync as Part of Concussion Management Protocol

America's first professional field lacrosse league has become the first professional sports league to adopt SyncThink's Eye-Sync technology league-wide as part of its player health and safety guidelines.

The Eye-Sync system is designed to provide a variety of objective assessments that can be rapidly performed to accurately identify visual impairments. Once these impairments have been identified, trained clinicians can use Eye-Sync's metrics to monitor improvement and provide dynamic visual training to improve brain performance.

SyncThink

Just three months after scoring a breakthrough device designation from FDA, SyncThink's Eye-Sync technology is already being used on sports fields across the United States.

This week the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), America's first professional field lacrosse league with 160 male players, said it will adopt SyncThink's eye-tracking system into its concussion management protocol. The league will use the platform to perform comprehensive player baseline evaluations pre-season, during in-game assessments to determine the status of players with suspected head injuries, and in evaluating whether or not it is safe for a player to return to play.

While other sports organizations already use the Eye-Sync technology, including the Golden State Warriors, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Washington Wizards, the PLL is the first to adopt the technology league-wide. Founded in 2018 by lacrosse superstar Paul Rabil and his brother Mike, the PLL’s inaugural season is set to debut on June 1.

“As we prepare to embark on our inaugural season, it’s essential that we prioritize both the health and personal safety of our amazing group of players,” aIS PLL CEO Mike Rabil. “We are thrilled to partner with SyncThink this year. Their innovative technology will aid our medical teams throughout PLL games and ensure that our players are protected at all costs.”

The league features six teams competing over a 14-week tour schedule taking place in 12 major market cities.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to partner with the PLL in their inaugural season,” said Doug Appleton, senior vice president of business development at SyncThink. “They are backing up their ‘We the Player’ motto by bringing cutting edge technology like Eye-Sync to their sidelines to help their medical staff analyze potential concussions to their players, and most importantly, their safe return to play.”

The virtual reality-based eye-tracking technology was developed over 15 years of clinical research in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense. The system is designed to provide a variety of objective assessments that can be rapidly performed to accurately identify visual impairments. Once these impairments have been identified, trained clinicians can use Eye-Sync's metrics to monitor improvement and provide dynamic visual training to improve brain performance.

FDA granted the technology a breakthrough device designation in February because of its potential to provide objective measurements to aid in the assessment of concussion.

In addition to sports organizations, SyncThink has partnered with medical centers such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Children's National Hospital, and Stanford Children's Hospital to provide patient care.

Editor's note: The headline and subheadline have been changed to state that the technology is part of the PLL's concussion management protocol.

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MD+DI received the following comment on this story via email from Mark Jacobs: [Part 1] Being both a parent of three high school and college LAX athletes and an executive in the medical technology industry, I am forever looking to better the health and safety of not just my children but for all who play. This holds true for just any other physical activity where one could find concussion as a potential hazard of their passion.
[Part 2] I am also a huge advocate of the press putting out accurate information especially when it could affect so many who read and may take action or comfort in the information they read. In a world where one can be accused of "fake news" it just becomes that much more important to validate your source.
[Part 3] That said, I would like to point out and ask for you to correct a statement that builds the perception that the device you are advocating from a company called SyncThink is an FDA-approved device for concussion. It is not and should not be conveyed to an uneducated public that it is. A breakthrough designation from FDA is not an approval by FDA to market a product for concussion. SyncThink has been previously admonished for falsely advertising their products in this category.
MD+DI received the following comment on this story from Joan Steinberg, an investor in the space: [Part 1] I am a parent and grandparent of seven highly athletic boys and one athletic girl that has become deeply concerned about the risk of concussion in athletics. I was shocked to see your article about the Lacrosse League's adoption of a SyncThink product from a company that has been a flagrant violator of the term "concussion diagnosis and management."
[Part 2 - Steinberg] Eye-Sync is not FDA approved for concussion diagnosis and management. With all good intentions, sports teams are searching for devices to help address the concern of parents and players regarding concussion. However, they are not always diligent about their research into the actual performance of these devices and the benefit they offer. Unfortunately, this will lead to misdiagnosis and continued harm. The seriousness of the unsubstantiated claims cannot be overlooked.
MD+DI received the following comment on this story via email from Uzma Samadani, a neurosurgeon and founder of Oculogica, which directly competes with SyncThink: I saw your article about SyncThink's eye tracking platform being used for concussion management and wanted to point out that they are not approved by the FDA for that indication (or for any clinical indication). I suspect that either the company or the sports league was misleading. I am hoping you can correct your article.