While the Bay Area is still nursing a tough loss to Seattle this past weekend in the NFC Championship game, the Ayasdi team received some great news from the NFL. This morning, a joint Ayasdi-UCSF collaboration was named one of the winners of the GE & NFL Head Health Challenge.
From more than 400 entries in 27 countries, Ayasdi/UCSF and 15 other winners received a $300,000 award to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury. Ayasdi and UCSF will use Topological Data Analysis to characterize and classify high-quality detailed MRI and CAT scans of the brain. Our goal is to identify patients and athletes who are particularly likely to experience persistent symptoms following concussion or mild traumatic brain injury. Doing so will provide athletes – or, for that matter, anyone who has suffered a head injury – the knowledge needed to take precautions, where that means spending additional time away from work or the playing field or seeking out additional support.
GE CEO, Jeffery Immelt, and NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, released an official statement explaining the award winning criteria they were looking for:
“First, we want solutions that can be broadly applied. We want to understand how injuries impact connections in the brain and how to cure them, regardless of where they occur. Beyond sports, the discoveries from this program will help doctors, parents and patients better address brain injuries across the general population. Second, we are committed to making real impact in the short term. The grant winners were chosen, in part, on their ability to create life-changing tools, treatments and devices that can play out in real time. Research, fact-based analysis and disciplined peer review are important, but so are results that can be put into action to help today’s athletes at all levels.”
This short video provides a preview of the kind of insights that UCSF will be discovering by using Ayasdi: