Blog: A Behind the Scenes Look at our Partnership with the XFL
Today we announced a new, expansive partnership with resurgent professional football league the XFL. The XFL is known for creating unique opportunities to advance the game of football, specifically with the integration of innovative technologies. As a result, they are a natural partner for NeuroSync as we look to expand our influence in sports with new hardware, features, and clinical utility.
While we plan to play a central role in how the XFL will leverage technology to create better outcomes for their players, our partnership extends beyond the sidelines. It is a comprehensive and multi-faceted collaboration into the advancement of health and safety for the sport. For likely the first time, NeuroSync and the XFL will work together to harness real time data to examine ways to de-risk the sport even further through new rules, evidence-based approaches to brain performance and concussion rehabilitation, and new approaches to engaging players in their own brain health during and after their playing careers are over.
These opportunities come at a time when the sport of football remains under heavy scrutiny for the ways in which players are cared for after a suspected concussion. The most notable example of this is Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami Dolphins quarterback who dealt with numerous concussions over the course of the 2022 NFL season. While there are many opinions on how the NFL’s concussion management protocol could be improved, many experts believe there is room still to make the game safer.
Here’s a look at various approaches we plan to embark upon together over the coming seasons:
Concussion Management and Rehabilitation
On gamedays, EYE-SYNC will be utilized as a central aspect of the concussion management protocol. Players suspected of concussion injury will be escorted to the locker room, where the testing battery will take place, and a decision about return to play will be made. After the diagnosis has been made by XFL Team Physicians, EYE-SYNC will be utilized in daily reassessment to determine the pace of recovery and when it is safe to resume live contact. During each phase of stepwise return to play progression, EYE-SYNC will also be utilized to support therapeutic efforts and to measure progress made from one rehab session to another. The protocol also requires the player to return to their EYE-SYNC baseline before returning to game action.
Brain Performance Integration
A key element of EYE-SYNC the XFL will explore this season is the utilization of brain performance optimization on players at various stages of training and recovery. Players with physical limitations such as a surgical repair or other significant musculoskeletal injury may also utilize EYE-SYNC as a training tool to help them improve cognitive function and brain performance measures while going through the recovery process. This will allow the player to put in additional work to optimize function to supplement many of the valuable reps being missed on the field.
Additionally, integration of EYE-SYNC brain performance training may also be utilized as part of the physical training environment for healthy players. Those with known baseline deficiencies will have the opportunity to improve these measures as part of a more focused and holistic approach to player management, in an effort to reduce the risk of injury where appropriate.
Conducting in season and post season data analysis will be a significant aspect of the collaboration with the XFL. Supporting their efforts to make the game safer, we will advise on potential protocol and gameday rule changes based on injury incident data collected during the season. Data on injury mechanisms, prevalence of concussion injury phenotypes, and position specific injury types are all areas of interest to XFL that we will provide a more advanced analysis. We will also include specific information on recovery timelines, specific case studies, and data related to the effectiveness of EYE-SYNC during return to play. This will shape not only how the game evolves, but how the players and staff understand the effects of cognition from injury to injury, and season to season.
This exciting partnership with the XFL creates many shared opportunities between us. XFL is eager to establish themselves as thought leaders by prioritizing player health and safety with transparency to create new approaches and grow a different type of game. They want to create a player friendly league so they can reach their goals. We want to support these efforts by establishing EYE-SYNC as the pre-eminent player health and safety technology, allowing the data collected to decrease risk, extend playing careers, and make the sport a safer one for everyone.