Montpelier. Sports: to detect concussions, Vogo takes the lead

Montpellier resident Christophe Carniel, founder of Vogo, the first French sports tech to be listed, plans €20 million to develop a turnkey solution for concussion detection (©Mario Sinistaj)

The start-up of Montpellier, founded in 2013 in Montpellier and headed by Christophe Carniel, is the French leader in audio and video solutions for the sports world. Vogo (8.5 M€ turnover in 2021) has just set up a consortium to detect concussions in sport.

The start-up (70 people) initially developed a digital innovation with which spectators who are present at a sports event can follow it live on a tablet or smartphone. But Vogo has added a few strings to his bow, particularly exploring another area: that of health.

Vogo, from sport to health

In particular, the start-up took advantage of its technology to participate in the creation of the EasyCov saliva test which makes it possible to identify positive cases for Covid-19. Sportech is also interested in an important health and sport problem that it can detect thanks to its technology: concussions, both in the professional environment and in amateurs…

Serious Medical Consequences

The problem is real: in France, 5 million athletes (and 100 million in Europe and the United States) are at risk of concussion, which medical authorities consider a “national scourge” and, contrary to popular belief, across most disciplines, not just contact sports: team sports with an increased prevalence for women and young people under the age of 20″, the Ministry of Health specifies: “And too often the medical consequences can be severe for people. †

“It’s a matter of responding to a global public health problem and ensuring the safety of athletes around the world, be they amateurs or professionals”

Christopher Carniel Founder and boss of Vogo

Since its inception, Vogo has used its know-how in video and audio signal processing for the study of effects during competitions. And for 5 years, innovative tools developed by the start-up, are being tested and used by the National Rugby League for Top 14 and Pro D2 matches to detect concussions: “The aim was to better protect athletes by developing solutions to improve the effectiveness of existing protocols. optimization”, explains Christophe Carniel.

The saliva test EasyCov, developed in Montpellier by the CNRS during the crisis, can detect concussion
The saliva test EasyCov, developed in Montpellier by the CNRS during the crisis, used by rugby in detecting concussions (© Metropolitan)

4 years R&D and 20 M€

The Montpellier leader thinks it is possible to improve the tool that already interests many international federations. “To develop an integrated and turnkey solution for the detection and support of concussion, it will take 4 years of R&D and an investment of about 20 million euros in the medium term,” he indicates.

To balance this budget, Vogo has therefore just set up a multidisciplinary consortium bringing together several partners
-The CNRS in the field of medical diagnosis through its Montpellier laboratory Sys2Diag 1 (CNRS / ALCEN);
-The Institute of Human Biomechanics Georges Charpak of Arts et Métiers Sciences et Technologies for its expertise in biomechanical modeling of effects and their consequences,
-The teams of the Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris of Professor Decq of the Beaujon Hospital with the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department of the Bichat Hospital for their expertise in neurosurgery and associated concussions;
– The PSITEC laboratories of the University of Lille and VAC of the University of Paris for their skills in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience;
-The Montpellier Medtech Move in Med, for its ability to merge all results and diagnoses;
-The company SkillCell, for its experience already validated with the EasyCov project in the development of portable and rapid tests…

“EasyCov saliva tests detect the presence of biomarkers that travel from the brain to saliva within minutes in a concussion”

Frank MolinaDirector of research in biology at the CNRS, designer of EasyCov

The Minister of Research in the GGL Stadium

On February 14, the Minister of Research came to the GGL Stadium, the den of the MHR, to discover the tested solutions for the detection of concussion
On February 14, the Minister of Research came to the GGL Stadium, the den of the MHR, to discover the tested solutions for the detection of concussion (© Metropolitan)

“It’s about responding to a global public health problem and the safety of athletes around the world, both amateurs and professionals,” adds Christophe Carniel: “The future solution should facilitate decision-making by medical personnel and actors in the field to concussion detection rates and treatment; and for that it must meet the demands of simplicity of use and ease of use”.

Videos: currently on Actu

This unique project in the world attracts attention, also at the highest level of the state: on February 14, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, came to Montpellier, to the GGL stadium, the lair of the MHR, to discover new tools to fight concussion.

Two new innovations tested

The minister was able to discover two new innovations : the use of EasyCov saliva tests (developed by the CNRS and Vogo) adapted to rugby: “These saliva tests detect the presence of biomarkers that, in the event of a concussion, pass from the brain to the saliva within minutes”, explains Franck Molina uit, director of biology research at the CNRS and designer of EasyCov… The other innovation being developed by the CNRS and Vogo: the use of artificial intelligence after a shock. It is enough for the affected player to speak into a microphone to determine the damaged areas of the brain.

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