By now, it is clear that traumatic brain injuries are a serious problem. Whether in sports or in military, methods for recognizing and treating concussions is demanding more of our attention each day.
Thankfully, there are companies using new technology that can more effectively treat those concussed with more precision — and one startup from Seattle seems to be leading the pack.
X2 Biosystems, a 24-person startup founded in 2010, just raised a $5 million round that puts total funding up to $14 million. The most recent round comes as X2 is making big moves.
Here’s a quick background on the company: X2 builds high-tech neck patches and mouthguards that can immediately send robust concussion data on individuals via a cloud-based service. The end result is a hardware-enabled software data service for concussion evaluation and management.
The startup partnered with all 32 National Football League teams this season, and each squad has been using X2’s concussion management system for the past few months. There are also 25 NCAA programs now using X2’s devices, along with a few other sports leagues, all the way from Major League Soccer to small youth programs around the country. Military personnel have also tested X2’s products.
X2 has been piloting its gear and software for the past three years, racking up more than one million impacts of data from various types of people (younger, older, male, female, etc.) to ensure that the product is validated.
“The reception has been overwhelmingly positive,” X2 CEO Christoph Mack told GeekWire.
Now that the company knows the technology is helpful and proven, X2 is gearing up to make its products commercially available in 2014.
“Next year is when we expect to really increase in the volume of our users and the footprint of impact from our technology,” Mack said. “Having achieved the clinical credibility, we’re looking to bring the benefits of the same technology to the broad market.”
There is certainly competition in this space, but as this recent CNN report points out, some products already available to the public don’t necessarily provide 100 percent accurate answers to concussion issues.
“Some of the products have been poorly thought through or rushed to market,” he said. “I think the time is right for us to bring helpful technology solutions to this problem in a healthy and responsible way.”
Mack, an inventor who previously worked at Nike, Apple and Whirlpool, founded the company three years ago with Rich Able, who worked in the medical device field for 14 years and came up with the idea for X2 after his son was knocked unconscious for one minute during a high school football game. The co-founders were recently featured as two of “Seattle’s Most Influential People” of 2013.
And they aren’t the only ones in Seattle trying to solve this problem. Just last month, The Paul G. Allen Foundation put up $2.37 million to fund brain injury research. That money will go to researchers at the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Brain Science, who will investigate the short and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury for two years.
Here’s a video showing how X2’s software works: