Use Your Head: How IoT Can Address Concussions

Sports fans in this nation have heard an increased amount of chatter around “CTE” or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (rolls off the tongue, I know).  CTE is a progressive degenerative disease that targets the soft tissues of the brain, and it is found in individuals that suffer repeated trauma or concussions.

CTE is a life altering affliction, with symptoms ranging from mood swings to memory loss, impaired judgement to unwarranted aggression, difficulty with balance and dementia, and suicidal tendencies. Most of the discussion around CTE has put football at the center, though many other contact sports pose a similar risk.

It has become clear that the adage “rub some dirt on it” no longer suffices as a response.

Shockbox has decided to apply IoT to the problem, using data to provide real time injury assessments.  Shockbox produces sports helmet sensors that measure the linear and rotational acceleration magnitude and direction of a hit.  Running this data through an algorithm, Shockbox can then advise if a hit was strong enough to warrant concussion testing on the player.  This raw data is transmitted to smartphones and/or tablets on the sidelines, so that coaches and parents know when a hit was too hard.

Today, the concussion protocol in college, and even at the professional level, is mainly a judgement call.  If a player looks dazed, stumbles, or is too slow to get up, a coach may call them over for evaluation.  Having hardened data showing when a player may be within the “danger zone” and require treatment for a possible concussion would eliminate the guesswork.

Producing helmets equipped with this technology ultimately enhances the final product.  Helmets are designed to absorb impact shock and protect the players head, and with IoT they can do an even better job.  Leveraging the function of the helmet and the data produced over the term of its use, we can more accurately measure the impact of contact sports.

How can you leverage the data already being generated by your product?  Contact our ClearObject team for a discovery session.

Clare Maher

Clare Maher is the Product Marketing Manager at ClearObject. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College (#gobelles), Clare can usually be found yelling at the screen during a Notre Dame game, quoting any film ever made or touring the Indy restaurant scene.

Sign up for our Newsletter