Anyone who’s ever watched football, the American variety, knows how rough of a sport it can be. With 22 fast-moving players (some weighing as much as 350 pounds) scrambling and tackling for possession of the pigskin, injuries are inevitable.
One of the scariest injuries a football player can get is a concussion. With its commonly insidious onset, concussions of the brain are often difficult to diagnose, or immediately treat to avoid long-term consequences.
The National Football League (NFL) has announced that they will be launching a pilot program next season in which accelerometers will be placed in players’ mouthpieces, earpieces, and helmets to analyze how blows to the head relate to the effects and severity of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. The data could potentially help team doctors diagnose the severity of a concussion within a few minutes. Collected long-term from groups of players, the impact data could help coaches and doctors determine how players get injured and the possible effects of such injuries. Such data could also help engineers design a better football helmet.
As long as the game of football continues to be played, concussions will be pretty much impossible to avoid. However, changing technology and increasing knowledge of traumatic brain injury will hopefully only make football a safer, more enjoyable sport.
Wired article: Impact Sensors Slated for NFL Helmets Next Season…
Medgadget archive: Football helmet technology…
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*