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Concussion Study Underway With Wearable Tech

September 27, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

We hear about wearable tech everyday. Devices like Fitbits have become extremely popular and motivating activity tracker for many people. Wearables are now being used for an even more useful purpose now as concussion trackers. Concussion and TBI have become increasingly better understood, and thanks to lawsuits brought by former players in the NFL and NHL the long term dangers and debilitating impacts of TBI and concussion are becoming better publicized.

Western University researchers have been looking into the impacts of concussion to players of traditionally less physical sports like soccer in which high impact head and body hits.  They are working with local soccer clubs and are hoping to determine the relationship between accumulated head impacts in youth soccer players, and what changes these impacts effect to brain function for the children/youth.

The researchers are using an ‘off the shelf’ sensor to track impacts during all games and practices to the youth in the study. These include head to head, head to ball, and head to ground impacts. The data is tracked in real time on a tablet and can be measured and assessed immediately from the sidelines. The researchers hope to protect youth from long term brain injury by better understanding the forces exerted on the brain by lower force impacts.

The wearable tech takes the form of a headband with a GForceTracker micro sensor. The tracker is being marketed as a ‘black box’ on every player, monitoring, collecting, measuring and analyzing head impacts and biometric performance data.  It’s hoped that by better understanding the impact of concussion athletes can be kept healthier and safer. The tracker measures a wide variety of metrics including time tracking, impact data, severity of impact, direction of impact, speed and acceleration of players, effort and energy level exertion and time tracking.

The tracker can be programmed to thresholds allowing alerts to be sent immediately if the thresholds are exceeded. They are also designed to collect a lifetime stream of data for the players, allowing them to tack the cumulative impacts they have sustained. The devices are designed specifically for to allow for a ‘research’ mode which can be added to the software. It will allow even more information to be collected to track 3-D linear and rotational data collection, and azimuth and elevation for strike points during impact.

You can watch a video about the Western University research trials here.

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About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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