Startup Develops “Check Engine Light For Your Brain”admin
New measures are constantly being taken to combat the ongoing problem of concussions in contact sports such as football and hockey. While new helmets have been developed, and helmet-mounted devices have been released, Force Impact Technologies believes their FITGuard mouthguard offers an even better approach.
Dubbed one of Popular Science‘s “12 New Technologies That Could Save Your Life”, FITGuard aims to keep players from returning to the field when they have a high probability of a head injury. Sensors inside the mouthguard measure linear and rotational acceleration of the head. When a hit is registered that is beyond the predetermined safety threshold for that player (which can be based on age, weight and gender, or the technology’s default setting) LED lights in the mouthpiece turn red and an alert is sent to a smartphone app of the coach, or other sideline personnel. Even if the FITGuard registers a hit that is within the safety threshold, the LEDs will turn green and the app is also sent a notification. The app also administers light-sensitivity and memory-loss tests to help assess the player’s likelihood of having a concussion.
In addition to monitoring multiple acceleration rates, FITGuard’s sensor placement also makes this tool unique. Clinical studies suggest the placement of the sensors in the mouthguard provide a higher correlation to the center of gravity in the brain, which will provide more accurate readings than sensors placed in helmets of chinstraps. Also, having the sensors placed in the mouthguard allows this technology to be used by sports where players are still at risk for head injury, but aren’t required to wear protective headgear, such as soccer or field hockey.