Trazer finding room to grow in sports rehab, senior care
In the mid-1990s, the late Barry French Sr. burst into his family home, eager to share the new technology he'd been working on in the garage: a groundbreaking new way to track and capture human movement.
The first iterations of technology were impractically large and prohibitively expensive. Though the technology gained national buzz at the time, it wouldn't be until 2017 that the Westlake family company Trazer created its first commercially viable product that can assess, train and rehabilitate users.
Since then, the company has been working steadily to expand its customers for Trazer (a combination of "tracking" and "laser"). Its initial client base was found among NCAA Division I schools. It has expanded to include various clinics and physical therapy centers and other care providers.
The technology combines gaming-based brain training tools with a motion-capture lab that digitally records and measures the body's movement. It's a tool to accurately measure and objectively quantify movement, allowing users to track improvement or degradation of quality and performance, which can be hugely important in performance enhancement and returning athletes to play after a concussion or other injury.
"The brain drives everything we do," said Barry French Jr., who remembers sitting on the couch with his brother when his father excitedly announced the technology. Today, he's CEO of Trazer. "You cannot assess, treat or enhance performance, for example, without integrating the brain and body together," French said.
After initially working primarily in the athletic and sports medicine space (both in performance enhancement and rehabilitation), Trazer last year entered the senior care market, aiming to help assess and mitigate fall risk.
Trazer adds math problems or color challenges that prompt the individual to physically move to solve the answers, allowing providers to look at brain health, musculoskeletal ability and performance of the body at the same time "to not only look at what area is affected but how can we improve the holistic human," French said.