Reducing Concussion Injury with the Internet of Things

September 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Football Helmet 2

A concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain, typically induced by trauma to the brain. Today, it’s estimated that 50% to 75% of all sports-related concussions are “missed.” The exciting news is sensor technology embedded in helmets now has the ability to track and measure the impact and severity of head injuries. While the long term effects of multiple concussions are currently being studied by researchers around the globe, the Internet of Things (IoT) can start helping to reduce the estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions that occur in sports like football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey and soccer each year.

Football is the most common sport with concussion risk for males (75% chance for concussion) and Soccer represents the most common sport with concussion risk for females (50% chance for concussion). Sensor and Helmet manufacturers are quick to point out that their products don’t diagnose concussions or any other injury. They however say, their devices and helmets  do give coaches and trainers additional criteria that can help in determining whether a player should come out of a game or seek immediate medical attention. This represents a positive first step as fewer than 10% of sports related concussions involve a loss of consciousness (e.g, blacking out, seeing stars, etc.). It estimated that 5-10% of all athletes will experience a concussion in any given sports season with 78% of concussions occurring during games (as opposed to practice). With over 1,093,234 young men playing high school football in 2015 and countless young women and men playing soccer, ice hockey, baseball, and basketball it’s clear these cloud technologies represent a tremendous improvement in player safety.   

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