Concussions are a dangerous part of sports, as they can create long-term problems for professional athletes in the form of degenerative brain disease. Sports leagues like the NFL have instituted concussion protocols to help mitigate the dangers.
However, it turns out that those protocols are fallible. Players who have had concussions somehow pass the protocols, go on to play and aggravate their injury. Prevent Biometrics is hoping to, well, prevent that with its Head Impact Monitor System (HIMS), a concussion-sensing mouthguard.
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HIMS monitors the wearer in real time, so when they're hit hard the device's four 3-channel accelerometers record the impact. The software then filters out light impacts and false positives. If the impact is above a certain threshold, it triggers an alert - the mouthguard lights up and a notification is sent to a device - that lets sideline personnel and coaches know the player needs to be taken out of the game.
There's also plenty of data for personnel to work with. They can see how many total impacts a player has sustained, and what the maximum impact they endured was. There are also details about each impact, like rotation, force and location.
Prevent has been beta testing the mouthguard for a while with colleges in the US, but now it's available for purchase. The NFL will begin testing the device in early 2018, which will likely be the offseason as the league is currently sprinting toward the Super Bowl.
HIMS will also be available to select schools and youth associations in early 2018, with the initial rollout planned for Connecticut/Massachusetts, Minnesota/Wisconsin, and Texas and Colorado. The moutguards will cost $199 per player, individual storage cases will cost $39 each and a team case will cost $299.
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