MotoAmerica has announced that the series will begin using the Vestibular Occulo Motor Screening (VOMS) system this season to monitor participants competing in the MotoAmerica Series. It is anticipated that this method will provide a more accurate diagnosis of a rider’s condition and ability to compete after suffering from a possible concussive injury.
Beginning in 2015, MotoAmerica partnered with Dr. Raymond Rossi with one of the goals to provide consistent evaluations of its riders and their fitness in relation to concussive and other injuries. In 2015 and 2016, MotoAmerica and Dr. Rossi used the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3rd Edition (SCAT 3) in conjunction with the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) to access rider fitness as it related to concussions.
In 2017, MotoAmerica will continue to use the SCAT 3 and BESS methods in addition to the VOMS, which has been found to be 90 percent accurate in evaluating concussive symptoms by evaluating five distinct functions relating to eye movement. MotoAmerica will also be testing a system that adds a computer aid to the VOMS called IPAS, which was developed by Neuro Kinetics, Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that will allow for even more accurate determination.
The VOMS computer aid will put MotoAmerica at the forefront of concussion diagnosis and athlete evaluation. Other series currently using or evaluating the VOMS / IPAS system include the NFL, IndyCar, and British Touring Cars. The system was also used by competitors at the Race of Champions, which was held recently in Florida. By using a combination of these three evaluation systems, Dr. Rossi and MotoAmerica hope to increase the level of rider safety, concussive care and longevity in the sport.
“Obviously, concussion is a matter of high importance for the well-being of our MotoAmerica riders,” said MotoAmerica Partner Chuck Aksland. “When we had previously considered what protocol we wanted to put into place for our series, we were a bit hesitant because it seemed like the current methods available were really too subjective to make an accurate determination on the true condition of the rider. Through discussion with my former colleague Dr. Stephen Olvey, he brought the VOMS / IPAS method to our attention and it really seems like this is the step we were looking for to provide a more accurate diagnosis of a rider after a fall.”
The IPAS system is continuously being refined at the University of Miami, Sports Medicine Concussion Center under the direction of Dr. Michael Hoffer and Jim Buskirk, PT.
“The diagnosis and management of concussion is rapidly evolving,” said Dr. Rossi. “Neurocognitive testing, such as ImPACT, has been a helpful tool in the care of the concussed athlete. Computer assisted VOMS / IPAS testing may have a more unique advantage for the motorcycle racing athlete given the specifics of their Mechanism of Injury.”