Q30 Innovations: Changing the Game in Brain Trauma
Concussions. Skull Fractures. Hemorrhages. Just three types of brain trauma, these injuries have impacted and taken the lives of millions of people in the United States.
- Every year, there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions
- 2% of Americans live with disabilities that have resulted from traumatic brain injury
- And shockingly enough, nearly 25% of Americans have had a concussion
The biggest group of victims? — Athletes and Military Personell.
- 1 out of 5 high school contact sport athletes will be victim to a concussion this year
- Nearly 50% of Veterans have had at least one traumatic brain injury
In comes Q30 Innovations, a neurotech startup working to revolutionize brain trauma prevention. Their product, the Q-collar, is a device worn around the neck that works to protect those in high impact situations from brain and head injuries. By applying light pressure to the jugular veins in two key areas, the Q-collar creates a slight increase in blood volume inside the skull that reduces brain movement and therefore reduces risk of brain injury upon impact. In theory, this increase in blood volume inside the head leads to a “cushion” of sorts that prevents the brain from extreme trauma when impacted.
“The brains ability to move inside the skull is perhaps the main reason traumatic brain injury occurs” — Dr. Julian Bailes, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Northshore University Hospital
By their research, the Q-Collar seems to be highly effective as tests have shown the Q-Collar to reduce damage to brain neurons/axons by over 80%. Additionally, their studies have shown that the Q-Collar apparently has no negative affect on athletic performance, neither does it invoke side effects of any sort.
Though many are on board and vehemently backing the product, it has also been cause for speculation by a number of academics. For instance, High Point University Professor James Smoliga has raised concerns abouts the methods of testing used to verify the effectivity of the Q-Collar. One of his arguments included that the testing for the product couldn’t have been accurate as trauma impact was tested on mice as opposed to something with a closer effect range to human beings. Further, Dr. Smoliga also found that the Q30 Innovation’s claim of the Q-Collar creating a “safety cussion” for the brain was invalid because such a small amount of increase in blood volume would not be enough to yield such an effect.
But not only is Smoliga skeptical about the effectiveness of the Q-Collar, he believes that it could actually cause more harm as athletes may begin to believe they are “bulletproof” by wearing the Q-Collar, leading them to rougher playing that could put them in harms way.
Shannon Donovan, executive director of Football Canada, believes that sport organizations have no reason to purchase the Q-Collar until there is sufficient evidence that it A. does not cause long-term side effects and B. concrete research evidence that the Q-Collar can in fact prevent concussions.
- Q30 Innovations has amassed funding at a total of 12.3 Million dollars
- In a June 2014 Seed funding round, Q30 Innovations raised 3 million dollars
- In a September 2020 Series A Funding round, Q30 Innovations raised 9.3 Million dollars
Though it is available for purchase in Canada, because it has yet to be approved by the FDA, the Q-Collar is not yet available for sale in the United States market. In Canada, it retails for prices ranging from $199 — $249.