Robotic innovation gives Canadian Olympians a head start
A Canadian Olympic program aimed at increasing the country’s medal count has added a Queen’s University research innovation to its toolkit for improving the performance of Canadian athletes.
KINARM, a robotic technology discovered by Queen’s professor and neuroscientist Stephen Scott (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) is the centerpiece of concussion research funded by Own The Podium (OTP). KINARM is developed by BKIN Technologies, a spinoff company of Queen’s PARTEQ Innovations.
Combining robotics, virtual reality and software, the KINARM is being used by a team of Calgary-based sports researchers to assess the baseline brain function of more than 300 Olympic and varsity athletes. Follow-up assessments are then done on athletes who subsequently suffer a sport concussion injury.
“While the final results of this study won’t be known until at least November, early anecdotal evidence has shown subtle yet distinct differences in athletes’ brain function following concussion,” says Anne Vivian-Scott, president and CEO of BKIN.
With the help of the KINARM Standard Tests, the group has been able to objectively identify decline in brain function following a concussion.
“The KINARM is a wonderful example of discovery research being transformed into a product with the potential to change lives,” says John Molloy, president and CEO of PARTEQ.
Concussion research funded by OTP is conducted at the University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre.