New In-Helmet Technology Monitors Football Concussions in Real-Time
In a recent poll, Bloomberg showed that half of American’s don’t want their children playing football. Even United States President Barack Obama was quoted saying if he had sons, he wouldn’t want them playing football; a sport so prone to concussions. The NFL’s new concussion rules may be strict on keeping the players safe, but players at the lower levels are quite susceptible. Millions of players compete at the Pop Warner, college and high school levels and don’t have to follow the same the rules keeping NFL player from suffering from concussions.
To combat the concussions non-NFL football players face, Marucci BodiTrak combined impact sensors and cognitive assessment tools to monitor neurological symptoms. Debuting the technology at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Marucci BodiTrak’s Head Health Network is utilizing the technology at LSU’s spring practice next season.
How the Concussion Monitoring Technology Works
According to Marucci BodiTrak, the player is first fitted with the HHN Smart Fabric.
A player, fitted with the HHN Smart Fabric, takes a hit. The Smart Fabric and helmet sensors record all specifics of the data. Every player establishes a neurological baseline with the system beforehand, which then sets a personalized threshold. If the data from a hit breaches the player’s threshold, the system sends an alert to anyone monitoring him/her through the cloud. Coaches, staff, doctors, parents, medical professionals, certified caregivers viewing the system from their tablets and smartphones will see the alert.
Afterward, doctors and team leaders can make decisions based on the specific data they receive to treat the injured player.
“Gone are the days of ‘I feel fine. Let me back in, Coach.’ With the HHN, the decision to either play or sit can be based on hard data as determined by the appropriate personnel,” the company said. “The data is data, and can be reached through telemedicine connection by any certified head trauma expert.”
Statistics Regarding Concussions
Football players might be quite susceptible to concussions, but the injury far across all sports. According to statistics from Cleared To Play, the numbers are quite staggering. From their list of facts, here are a few statistic highlights about concussions.
- Female high school soccer athletes suffer almost 40% more concussions than males (29,000 annually)
- Concussion rates more than doubled among students age 8-19 participating in sports like basketball, soccer and football between 1997-2007, even as participation in those sports declined.
- More than 248,000 children visited hospital emergency departments in 2009 for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries related to sports and recreation.
- Female high school basketball players suffer 240% more concussions than males (13,000).
- Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States
With concussions being as prevalent and as dangerous as they are in high school students, it’s imperative that the technology be developed to help better assess their well-being. The work that Marucci BodiTrak is doing is almost certain to revolutionize the sports care industry, and hopefully save lives while it’s implemented.
Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia; other images from Shutterstock.