• Device detecting concussion symptoms tested at JCSU

    By: DaShawn Brown

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. was honored with a $100,000 during his final race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

    Part of that money will fund blink reflexometry research.

    Researchers said a device, the Blinktbi, could help tackle the concussion problem by finding the best way to diagnose one.

    “The idea is that this device uses your blink reflex,” co-founder Dr. Ryan Fiorini said.

    He helped launch the only trial in Charlotte at Johnson C. Smith University

    The device uses five puffs of air on the right or left eye, then takes almost 6,000 photographs in 20 seconds.

    “It comes back and says your blink rate is altered, which is indicative of a concussion,” Fiorini said.

    Head athletic trainer Nathan Pickel from JCSU said he noticed a difference with this test.

    “The testing that we currently use, you can alter your baseline a little bit by just being a little slower, or knowing what the answers or the symptoms of a concussion are,”

    A prototype for the handheld version should be ready in the fall, then trainers can test athletes on the sideline during a game.

    "If there was something that in 20 seconds, you could get an answer, you could feasibly, never take them out of the game,” Fiorini said.

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