Brightlamp Inc., a Purdue University-affiliated startup, has launched an application that lets a smartphone user quickly record data that can be sent to a medical trainer or other medical professional who can objectively determine if that person has sustained any neurological disturbance, including concussion, with potentially serious long-term health repercussions. The app, called Reflex, works exactly like a pupillometer and can take a digital video recording with a smartphone of an individual’s eye to measure a response called “pupillary light reflex.” Basically, the user holds the camera up to an eye, taps the screen and a light flashes to initiate a response from the pupil. Reflex is a Class I regulated medical device, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The app measures the latency, constriction rate, dilation rate and other relevant metrics. Change in pupil response has been correlated with brain stem and hypothalamus injuries including blast-induced traumatic brain injuries, non-blast-induced traumatic brain injuries, neurodegenerative diseases and conditions affecting cognitive capacity. The app can be used by athletic trainers, physicians, neurologists and academic researchers to monitor cognitive functionality for many neurological disturbances, diseases and abnormalities. “Our test is unbiased. It’s based on natural [pupillary] response, so you can’t beat it. It also gives direct insight into the brain,” said Kurtis Sluss, Brightlamp’s CEO. Brightlamp recommends that users take a baseline test before an athletic season begins, but Sluss said it isn’t necessary. “There’s a normal physiological response across the human population, so we know what normal areas are.”