Medical Technology will Solve the Concussion Epidemic Very Soon

Courtesy of mc10 and Engadget

Technology continues to change the world everyday…

Especially when it comes to sports medicine.

Just think about where College Football and College Athletics in general were about 15 years ago.

An ACL tear meant you were done for around 18 months and you never fully got your range of motion back despite the old mechanical knee flexers.

Yeah…

Remember those days…

And just think where the medical procedures are today…

There is a new ACL surgery that has two pinpoint incisions below the knee and has the athlete back up in two weeks because there is not an incision directly on the knee itself.

Add that to the fact most athletes come back stronger now after a procedure and rehab and it is clear to see innovative medicine along with new technology is creating a better and safer game.

But with that being said there has been one area that has been seemingly unobtainable and a hot button on every level of football.

Concussions…

Yes the hit that makes every player cringe and every mother cover her eyes…

And with the conclusions of the study done on the brain of Junior Seau, the concussion epidemic might be the scariest condition and the biggest threat to football anyone has ever seen.

But there is hope…

And it comes in the medical technology innovation from mc10 and Reebok simply called the CheckLight.

The system is comprised of two parts…

The “brains” built by mc10 and the skull cap designed and developed by Reebok…

And it’s just about the coolest thing you’ve every seen…

Isaiah Kacyvenski, mc10′s Director of Licensing and Business development and ex-NFL player, sums up the CheckLight as a strip of plastic filled with flexible sensors connected to a small micro-controller module with three indicator LEDs and a micro-USB port. One LED serves as a battery level indicator, one flashes yellow after moderate impacts and a third flashes red for severe blows. It has a rechargeable battery and has rotational acceleration, multi-directional acceleration, impact location and impact duration sensors inside. Data from those sensors is then run through the company’s proprietary algorithm to determine when to fire the LEDs.

Courtesy of mc10 and Engadget

Star Trek meets Star Wars kind of stuff…

CheckLight stands apart from previous athletic impact sensors in two simple way.

One, its flexible design measures the impact on a wearers head, as opposed to the impact on a helmet. That means the data it provides is more relevant and accurate than competing systems. And, it means that the CheckLight can be used with multiple helmets.

Second, its value lies is its ability to provide simple, actionable information to both athletes and medical personnel that is as easy as a yellow and red light warnings. That makes it easy to understand by the players themselves which removes the pride and shame factor that prevents many players from reporting concussion symptoms.

And that is where the real perfection of this product may lie…

It gives players a means to easily see when a teammate may have a concussion, they police each other. This addresses the biggest difficulty in diagnosing concussions: the failure to report symptoms according to Kacyvenski.

Genius…

And that’s not even the best thing about this product that will be a feature at this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The real genius is that it will be priced low enough to make it standard equipment for all youth and pop warner. It is scheduled to be on the shelves for purchase in the next few months.

Prayers answered folks…

Now this will not be the savior for all severe head traumas in football…

But it will assure players, coaches, teammates, trainers and sports medicine professionals will have the state of the art technology to make immediate health care decisions.

For that the entire sports world say thank you mc10 and Reebok…

You have started something that will forever change the game of football as we know it…

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M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the
US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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