SXSWorld November 2013


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 29 of 35

Technology Could Provide Solutions to Contact Sports' Concussion Problem by Shermakaye Bass C 28 SXSWORLD / NOVEMBER 2013 COURTESY OF X2 BIOSYSTEMS "... better access to pre-injury testing ... telemedicine, where we can interact with students whether they're on campus or with their team on the road. We can do symptom checks throughout the week." COURTESY OF RIDDELL SPORTS ontact sports are called contact sports for obvious reasons. The physical collisions and higher risk for injury associated with these sports have always been part of their high-speed, high-intensity equation. But these days, concussions are the huge topic of concern among athletes and their coaches, trainers and doctors, not to mention their families. Though the National Football League's struggles with the effects of concussions on both current and former players have grabbed the headlines, the consequences of sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) are a danger for virtually all athletes, whether they are playing youth soccer, high school basketball, college football or professional ice hockey. As a result of the increased public concern about sportsrelated head injuries, technological innovations have quietly been finding their way to the sidelines and will soon be put into play. In the fast-evolving world of concussion science, Riddell helmet featuring new technologies such as impact sensor tech, electronic data SRS sensors gathering and brain monitoring are coalescing to help prevent long-term brain damage, a.k.a. chronic traumatic brain cine. She points to the arrival of encephalopathy (CTBE). This hybrid science is yielding new ways for applications and data collection coaches, trainers, doctors and parents to instantaneously monitor blows systems by companies like C3logix that can lead to concussion and take protective, and possibly life-saving, in Cleveland, Ohio, and ElMindA measures for the athlete. in Israel, which allow professionals One area of development has centered around better preseason to analyze brain waves before and testing, which can help solve part of the traumatic brain injury puzzle after an injury. through early diagnosis and prevention. You might call it a very "C3logix is doing something X-patch by X2 Biosystems advanced form of telemedicine, which is the remote monitoring of a where we can actually use our patient's symptoms via an electronic device. iPads and iPhones to have better "Telemedicine is a mechanism by which logistical barriers can effiaccess to pre-injury testing," Jones says. "And we can do telemedicine, ciently and effectively be overcome," explains Dr. Vernon Williams, where we can interact with students whether they're on campus or with chief medical officer at the Sports Concussion Institute (SCI) in Los their team on the road. We can do symptom checks throughout the week." This type of close monitoring is essential to diagnosing initial concussions, but it also can protect young athletes, who are exponentially more at risk for long-term damage from concussions and especially susceptible to the catastrophic second-impact syndrome (SIS), when the brain swells rapidly after a person suffers even a mild concussion before he or she has fully recovered from an earlier one. ElMindA is a company that focuses on the management of brain injuries and disorders. Its advanced imaging platform, Brain Networks Activation (BNA), uses high-res visualizations to evaluate the brain's neurophysiological status and better equip doctors and other specialists to make recommendations for treatment and future actions. More familiar is the technology known as SRS, Sideline Response Systems, which was pioneered by sports equipment maker Riddell and has been used in football helmets for a decade. This system, which uses sensors placed inside the helmet to monitor and measure impacts and convey the information wirelessly to the sidelines, plays a key role Angeles, California. "Preseason baseline testing of an individual can be in the emerging confluence of remote/immediate diagnostics, data performed in person or remotely." gathering, impact measurement and medical treatment. "We work with various technology advances on the treatment side," Seattle-based X2 Biosystems has a similar platform, a neurological says Sidney Jones, the outreach coordinator for SCI's clinic in nearby assessment app for tablets that creates a database for each individual Anaheim, California, who has seen growing emphasis on telemediathlete and measures reflexes and other vital indicators over a period of

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SXSWORLD - SXSWorld November 2013