SUCCESS: The first of its kind product that targets and treats concussions soon after impact is detected, implemented by a trainer or clinician.
Above: The TecTraum Pro-2-Cool System delivers hypothermic therapy to minimize brain trauma from concussions.
One in five young people who play a contact sport have suffered at least one concussion, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. It’s a stressful time for the athletes and their families while they recover. We’re proud to have partnered on the TecTraum Pro-2-Cool™ System medical product innovation, the first device that provides immediate treatment of concussions that could shorten the recovery time.
A few years ago, a partner came to us with the patents for a device, intended for use by EMTs, that would cool the blood flowing to the head to mitigate damage to the brain after a serious head injury. We wondered if something like it could help with concussions. We consulted John Zak, a healthcare entrepreneur, and determined that there was nothing quite like that on the market.
Meanwhile, we met with Sam Williams and Justin Fargas, retired NFL players looking for opportunities to develop products that could help athletes recover from injuries. We told them about the brain-cooling technology we’d acquired, and both players were intrigued.
NS, Williams and Fargas, and other partners launched TecTraum, a new venture founded around the promising mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) treatment technology. Zak joined as CEO. The goal was to provide something new in the concussion space: immediate therapy. Even in recent years, as awareness of concussions in youth sports has grown, the advice has remained the same: rest, and follow up with your doctor. But our research showed that this left athletes and their parents worried and frustrated.
TecTraum Pro-2-Cool Concussion Therapy
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The TecTraum Pro-2-Cool System changes that. Designed to be portable and easy to use, the Pro-2-Cool is a non-invasive hypothermic therapy device that provides localized cooling of the head and neck. Coolant is cooled to 6°C (42.8°F) by the chiller assembly and circulated through the cooling garment to create conductive heat transfer from the head and neck. The Pro-2-Cool System is indicated to improve clinical signs and symptoms and reduce recovery time in adolescents with a mild traumatic brain injury.
The original technology brought to NS was lacking in several ways. The chiller required almost 30 minutes to get the coolant to the right temperature. Our engineers got this down to 10 minutes. Our design team studied anatomy in order to improve the garment, which was bulky and uncomfortable. Through testing, with NS associates and real student athletes, we further refined the garment to deliver the optimal temperatures to different areas, and added a hood for privacy during treatment. The garment and the soft case for transporting the Pro-2-Cool System can be branded in team colors.
The Pro-2-Cool is a Class II medical device. The concussion therapy system is limited to use by medical personnel such as nurses, technicians and athletic trainers on the order of a physician. The user applies the cooling garment to the patient, turns the unit on and follows the screen prompts to provide the cooling treatment.