High Tech Help for Preventing Sports Brain Injury
The numbers are staggering: An estimated 3.8 million sport- and recreation-related concussions occur every year across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But a Seattle company could hold a key to solving the nationwide epidemic of sport-related concussions. X2Impact has created head-impact monitoring systems to help team physicians and athletic trainers better manage sports brain injury (SBI). Founded by Christoph Mack and Rich Able (whose son, Kyle, experienced head injuries while playing high school football), the company will market its products at the high school and university levels in the summer of 2013.
“Our technology would have given Kyle’s trainer crucial information on how many hits he was sustaining and of what magnitude these hits were,” Able says of his son, who subsequently recovered from his 2007 concussion. The company will offer an impact-sensing mouth guard for football and a headband product for other sports. Molded to the upper teeth, the X2IMPACT MOUTH GUARD SYSTEM measures the impacts to an athlete’s head, and then transmits the information to tablet and smartphone devices in real time. This helps the sideline staff determine which players might need further attention. X2 has been working closely with Dr. Stanley Herring, a nationally recognized concussion expert and the director of sports, spine and orthopedic health for UW Medicine. “Following the guidance of the leading clinicians and researchers in this field has been incredibly valuable to our company’s mission,” says Mack. The mouth guards have already been tested at the pro, collegiate, high school and youth levels, including Stanford University and Notre Dame.