From youth sports to college athletics to the big leagues, sports-related brain and head injuries are a growing concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the U.S. annually. What may be even more troubling is the fact that children make up 65 percent of emergency room visits for such concussions.
In response to these statistics and the attention people are devoting to the issue of concussions and other head and brain injuries resulting from sports and recreational activities, several Seattle startup companies are rolling out new products. The first is the result of a partnership between Seattle’s Korrio and Wisconsin-based Axon Sports that uses technology to help diagnose concussions in youth soccer.
Cognitive Test for Head and Brain Injuries
According to TechFlash, the companies will incorporate Axon’s online cognitive tests into Korrio’s existing online player profiles. After a player takes the test, a simple card game that costs about $10 per child, parents will have access to a snapshot of their child’s healthy brain activities. This information can be used to help diagnose a concussion or other brain or head injury by comparing the child’s healthy and post-injury brain activities, including:
- Processing speed
- Working memory
- Learning capacity
- Ability to pay attention
High-Tech Mouth Guards
Another Seattle startup, X2Impact, creates smart mouthguards for athletes. The mouthguards’ sensors collect data when a collision occurs and transmit it to a base station, which feeds it to a data-crunching service, according to Bloomberg. These numbers are compared to a baseline diagnostic test and against data gathered from similar athletes; if a player gets hit hard enough, the system issues an alert to the coaching staff, according to X2Impact’s co-founder.
Many states have enacted laws that require coaches to remove student athletes from the game if they observe concussion-like symptoms, according to Bloomberg. With new technological innovations, parents, coaches and medical professionals can better understand and manage concussions. Those who have suffered head or brain injuries, whether sports-related or not, should contact a personal injury attorney to protect your right to seek compensation for any damages you have suffered.