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Can Football Helmets Detect Concussions?

According to an article published in Scientific American,  some high school teams are now testing a new helmet sensor that promises to alert coaches when players have been hit hard enough to cause a concussion, potentially averting further brain injury.

The helmets—made by sports equipment maker Riddell Sports Group—use sensor technology developed by New Hampshire–based Simbex, LLC. The system consists of six battery-powered sensors in the helmet's padding that record the location, magnitude, duration and direction of up to 100 impacts and wirelessly send this information to a PC (within 150 yards) running data collection software. The sensors work by measuring both linear and rotational acceleration of the helmet after a player has been struck.

The costs for the concussion detection equipment reportedly are $30,000 for the computer system and $1,000 for each helmet.

This technology is still in the developmental stages and I still believe that teams need to be extremely cautious when it comes to concussions and always take the conservative approach of keeping players out of play any time a concussion is suspected to have occurred.  While this equipment may be able to record forces, there are many types of forces that the system may not be able to detect which are responsible for concussions.  Further, the individual sensitivity of each player to concussive forces makes me wonder if this product can really do what it's developers claim.

You can read the full story by clicking here.



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