Advances in telehealth technology are revolutionizing how healthcare providers
respond to the hard knocks and head injuries athletes sustain on the football
field, soccer pitch, and ice rink.
It may be baseball season, but I've got football on my mind.
Not the game itself, but the injuries that can result from it, and specifically,
how new technology can help detect
concussions, those hard knocks that can do so much damage and yet be so difficult
Sensor technology and telehealth technology are revolutionizing how the
healthcare system responds to the football field's hard knocks, and
the same technology could apply to other sports such as hockey, soccer,
and anywhere else where sharp blows to the noggin are part of the game.
In January at the International CES show in Las Vegas, I got to see technology
up close from a firm called MC10, that forms the basis for
Reebok's CheckLight, which collected a CES Innovations 2014 Design and Engineering Award.
The soft garment fits over the head, but underneath a player's helmet.
Sensors within the garment measure direct accelerations experienced by
the head, rather than to the helmet or chin strap. Earlier sensors, attached
to these, could provide inaccurate readings.
When CheckLight measures a dangerous acceleration, the technology switches
on a yellow or red light, depending on the severity of the acceleration.
Coaches and trainers on the sidelines of the playing field can clearly
see the light displayed below the bottom edge of the helmet.