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Devices help alert teams to potential concussions on the field

Jun 28, 2012   |   by Anne Stein   |   The Baltimore Sun

For almost a decade, helmet-maker Riddell has gauged the frequency and severity of head impacts through helmets lined with sensors that communicate wirelessly to the sidelines. But Able "wanted to develop a technology that provided impact data for all sports, not just helmeted sports."

The result is the X2 Impact, an electronics-packed mouth guard that records direction, force and number of impacts to the head, then wirelessly sends the information to sideline staff...

The mouth guard joins the nearly decade-old Head Impact Telemetry System and Sideline Response System, owned and co-developed by Riddell and product development firm Simbex. Data on 1.8 million on-field head impacts have been collected through the HITS system, leading to dozens of published studies and several rule changes, including:

Brown and Dartmouth successfully lobbied the Ivy League to eliminate in-season, full-contact practices and reduce them in preseason because of how many head impacts athletes were exposed to. "Reducing impact exposure will ultimately reduce athletes' risk of concussion," explained Thad Ide, Riddell's senior vice president of research and product development.

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