Upstate and Motion Intelligence partner to create concussion-assessment system

Motion Intelligence, developer of a concussion-assessment system, has been approved for START-UP NY through its affiliation with Upstate Medical University.

The company will have its base of operations on the Upstate campus in the Institute for Human Performance and is expected to create nine net jobs and invest $350,057.

“The collaboration with Motion Intelligence relates directly to the outstanding work in concussion management and treatment that is occurring at Upstate,” said David Duggan, MD, Upstate’s START-UP NY officer and dean of the College of Medicine. “It also highlights Upstate’s desire to partner with start up companies and our willingness and ability to offer our expertise in health care and medical research.”

START-UP NY stands for SUNY Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate New York.  The program seeks to foster economic development by leveraging the expertise of universities to identify new and expanding businesses that can operate tax free in New York for 10 years.

The system that will facilitate the diagnosis and management of concussion injuries is the subject of a clinical research study being conducted by Upstate that has already tested more than 300 athletes playing college football, youth hockey and mixed martial arts, among other sports.

“Our technology will deliver a new standard of care for concussions—designed specifically to improve patient outcomes,” said Rich Uhlig, founder and CEO of Motion Intelligence. “Our partnership and interaction with SUNY Upstate’s world-class researchers and clinicians has been critical to our success.”

Brian Rieger, PhD, who heads Upstate’s Concussion Management Program, appreciates the partnership with Motion Intelligence.

“Working with Motion Intelligence provides a great opportunity to translate our clinical knowledge and experience into new technology that can improve our care of patients with concussions,” he said.  “We are focused on improving the assessment of balance and cognitive functioning, as these are critical areas in the assessment of the athletes with concussions.”

Researchers estimate that between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year in the United States. Despite increased public awareness of suspected concussions, the standard tools used to evaluate and treat concussion continue to suffer from poor reliability and sensitivity.

Inaccurate diagnosis of concussion can lead to severe secondary injuries, if an athlete returns for physical activity too soon, experts say.

Developers at Motion Intelligence and Upstate concussion experts are hopeful that the system being developed for use by clinicians, medics and physical therapists—in the office or in the field—will lead to better diagnosis, treatment and assessment of concussions.

The initial customers for the system will be health care providers and facilities located throughout the United States.  The company plans on growing in New York while it completes development of the system, applies for FDA approval and begins manufacture, marketing and selling its concussion assessment system.

Upstate faculty members Brian Rieger, PhD, who directs the Concussion Management Center at Upstate; Claudine Ward, MD, medical director of the Concussion Management Center; and Christopher Neville, PhD, PT, who teaches in the departments of Physical Therapy Education, Orthopedic Surgery and Physiology, serve as company advisers.

The Concussion Management Program is part of the Upstate Concussion Center, which provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment services for concussion and sports concussion. Center faculty members participate in numerous educational outreach programs, speaking to parents, school officials and students about concussion warning signs symptoms and treatment.  The Upstate Concussion Center treats patients from all across the Upstate New York region.

Caption: Key members of the Motion Intelligence-Upstate Medical University initiative are, from left, Rich Uhlig, founder and CEO of Motion Intelligence; and from Upstate: Brian Rieger, PhD; Christopher Neville PhD, PT; and Frank Middleton, PhD.

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