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Virtual Reality for Medical Innovation

SyncThink’s EYE-SYNC is an FDA-approved software platform designed to evaluate brain injury in athletes using VR technology and digital eye tracking.

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When a concussion occurs, the connections between the brain and eyes are impaired. This leads to irregularities in visual performance and eye movement.

The best current diagnostic method is a medical professional asking a patient to follow a finger to identify small inaccuracies in eye movement. Consequently, the decision regarding whether or not an athlete can go back on the field is subjective. SyncThink is a fast, reliable, and mobile solution that provides objective data to help medical professionals make better decisions about treatment.

Cantina worked closely with SyncThink to understand its needs, challenges, and constraints. Through an agile process, Cantina collaborated with SyncThink to engineer a scalable, FDA-compliant, Android-based software application that can be deployed across multiple VR platforms. At the time that we started to work with SyncThink, the system needed to launch within five months to be ready for the upcoming athletic season.

Cantina has a reputation that precedes them. We quickly found that they had the skills to deliver an excellent user experience but also the confidence to utilize new technology that is on the bleeding edge.

EYE-SYNC eye tracking user interface.
EYE-SYNC eye tracking user interface.

Design Strategy

Transforming Brain Health

Concussions remain one of the most underreported and underdiagnosed types of brain trauma.

Therefore, a more reliable solution for identifying brain injuries is needed. Nearly 50,000 people die annually from traumatic brain injury, and more than 2.5 million people are sent to the emergency room every year due to brain injury, according to the CDC. Medical experts agree that there is no universally accepted, evidence-based definition of a concussion. This is why SyncThink and the EYE-SYNC platform are critical for the health and wellbeing of athletes, soldiers, and everyday people.

When using EYE-SYNC, a football player fresh from a collision or a soldier who’s taken a blow during training puts on the EYC-SYNC headset and follows a red dot moving in a circle. In under 60 seconds, a report is generated, helping the onsite medical professional to determine whether or not the patient is safe to return to the game or training.

With the challenges involving concussion and long-term traumatic brain injury among athletes and military personnel, addressing the needs of these two groups is critical and central to SyncThink’s mission.

SyncThink’s eye-tracking technology, which Cantina helped develop into a market-ready software solution, reduces the risk of brain damage in critical post-injury moments for athletes, soldiers, and ordinary people. The software empowers people to take their brain health seriously; those on the field of battle, playing sport or living everyday life who might think that they are fine, can now be shown definitive proof by a medical professional that something is amiss. This helps to ensure that they get proper treatment and increases the likelihood for a full and complete recovery.

EYE-SYNC gear and tablet.
EYE-SYNC gear and tablet.

One Team

Blurring the Line Between Agency and Customer

SyncThink came to Cantina with a raw prototype of their Android-based next-generation eye-tracking product and requested support designing and engineering a scalable, market-ready software solution.

We tailored our development process to fit with SyncThink’s priorities and collaborated closely with SyncThink to deliver a solution that could dramatically improve diagnosis processes and save lives. SyncThink has a number of patents that could change the future of evaluating and treating brain injury, and Cantina has been core to bringing SyncThink’s vision to life. This is work that everyone at Cantina is very proud to be part of.

$ 3.5

Million in venture capital


Sports teams served


U.S. granted patents

Meaningful Results

Delivering an Adaptable, Market-ready, Mobile Solution

Together, SyncThink and Cantina engineered an innovative and market-ready solution that is positively impacting lives and transforming the way athletic trainers, coaches, and team physicians evaluate and manage concussions in their athletes.

The NCAA’s PAC-12 Conference has adopted EYE-SYNC as a core part of its concussion identification, evaluation, and management protocol across all sports and teams. The latest version of the EYE-SYNC platform takes into account vestibular balance dysfunction in a way that previous versions of the platform could not, combining the latest innovations in Sports Concussion Assessment with cloud-connected, HIPAA-compliant analytics. The device is also mobile, wireless, and simple to use.

SyncThink continues to innovate and adapt to its customers’ needs. Thanks to the agile platform that SyncThink and Cantina built together, if a customer approaches SyncThink requiring new features—such as integrating electronic medical records or adding sports performance sensors—those goals can be accomplished, while SyncThink continues to deliver on its core mission: improving the brain health and wellbeing of athletes, soldiers, and everyday people.


If you are interested in learning more about this engagement or how Cantina can help you with a project contact us today. We'd love to help.

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