New concussion app developed locally

The problem of concussions

Cutting edge technology to keep your child from a serious sports injury is being designed and developed right here in the Miami Valley. A local tech company, Ascend Innovations, is partnering with Kettering Health Network, Premier Health Partners and Dayton Children's Hospital to develop "Vye." It's an app for your smartphone to assess if an athlete has a concussion.

"It doesn't require major set up. It doesn't require a lot of hardware. We can pull a device out of our pocket and have a more objective test," said Robin Lensch, a leading athletic trainer with Kettering Health Network.

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Lensch has been testing Vye with athletes like Koby Stover, a player on the Kettering Fairmont High School football team. Stover said he thinks Vye is a great idea, considering that many athletes approach the game the same way that he does.

"I just go out there and play the game and I don't really think about any injuries," said Stover.

Convenience is what makes Vye different according to design engineer Maria Lupp. It only takes a matter of minutes to do the test.

"A user is asked to follow a dot moving across the screen. It's very similar to the way you'll see an athletic trainer on the sidelines running their finger," said Lupp. "We track that eye movement in order to tell the difference between baseline and concussion."

Ryan Smith, the CEO of Vye, focusing on this technology is important.

"Concussions are getting a lot of attention right now. Parents, coaches, players are all hyper-vigilant about it," Smith said.

While Vye is not on the market yet, that reality is not far off.

"We finding our accuracy is within one degree of your eye movement, which puts us in the medical grade category," said Smith. "So as we start to move forward, we're just entering FDA trials and we're looking to get that done in the next few months and have a product to market."

Robin Lensch has been testing Vye for about 18 months and she believes it is a safety-net of sorts, that gives her more confidence in her "play or no play" decisions.