CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Local tech company Blinkcns has teamed up with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to advance cutting-edge blink reflex technology.

The latest devices and software, known as EyeStat, collect real-time data of the patient’s blink reflex.  The entire scan only takes 30-40 seconds, is non-invasive, and can be used to monitor and track a variety of Central Nervous System diseases. 

Jeff Riley, Executive Chairman of Blinkcns says dozens of neurological health factors and risks can all be determined by the blink of an eye:

“So what will be licensed from MUSC is a patent surrounding the blink reflex…the blink reflex is when you blink your eyes, and believe it or not when you blink your eyes, that signal, that response, travels from your eye, back to your brainstem, to your other eye.”

Riley says that signal can be measured in many ways, like with a non-invasive MRI. The concept has been around for years, but the latest iterations offer even more in-depth data:

“You can get a fingerprint. Literally a digital fingerprint of each of the different disease dates…so everything from ADHD, to Parkinson’s, to concussion, or TBI (traumatic brain injury). So each one of those, you can see what is happening inside the individual.”

Troy Hughes with the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization at MUSC says a clinical need was identified by MUSC researchers for this technology, and all their legwork allowed the two organizations to get to this new partnership: 

“It’s great to see these technologies move into a local partner…and now we are going to work with them and partnership as they kind of take it the rest of the way, through that regulatory development, and through the refinement of the device, and ultimately, bring it back to the patients at large…not just at MUSC…but locally, statewide, nationally, and possibly even around the globe.”

Down the line, Riley says they hope to improve access even more, with the potential of new interfaces connecting the technology to smartphones.

“Still hoping to be able to import that to an iPhone or an Android and be able to use that to take a video of the eye and be able to give patients or potential customers better resolution of what is happening inside their brain.”