I-Corps: Traumatic Brain Injury Detection and Reporting System

Project: Research project

Description

Summary: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious and potentially deadly event in contact sports such as football. Players, parents and coaches are beginning to realize that head impacts during play can be a serious occurrence that should not be ignored and played through; rather, that the impact may have caused a TBI. Repeated TBIs can cause serious conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); a dementia-like degenerative disease that pushes the sufferer into a downward spiral of emotional instability and has led to suicide in both young and old football players. To make matters worse, TBI does not always present symptoms that would indicate a player should stop playing; as such, unhealed injuries may accumulate, and create a heightened risk for permanent and more serious damage. The Reactive Mobile Head-impact Application (RMHA), therefore, seeks to help players, parents, coaches and medical personnel better understand the consequences of players head impacts, and to help them make decisions regarding safe future play and health treatment. RMHA provides teams of all typesespecially youth and recreational players, whose budget will not allow for expensive equipmenta cost-effective, simple-to-use method that enables coaches and players to detect and track head impacts over time. RMHA consists of impact-detecting sensors that fit comfortably inside a football helmet, and computer software that automatically collects and stores impact data, and sends real-time alerts to key medical personnel via their cell phone or other wireless device when a player suffers a strong head impact. The sensors are capable of tracking key factors from an impact, namely direction, location and speed. The software wirelessly integrates with the helmet sensors, and facilitates long-term data collection that allows teams to compile a lifetime record of all notable head impacts that the player has received. The software will also render impact data in easy-to-understand images, graphs, and text. The RMHA aims to capture quantifiable data regarding impacts with an outcome designed to reduce ambiguity and provide input that will guide the decision to continue play. In the long term, RMHA will cross integrate with existing data collection methods and work with helmet safety standards organizations to ultimately create safer equipment.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date12/1/135/31/14

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $50,000.00

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Brain
Sensors
Personnel
Sports
Data acquisition
Health
Costs