Application for Smart Phones Developed to Detect Concussions

brain injury from concussions

As concussions have been a hot topic within high school sports recently, a new smart phone app was developed to detect signs of a brain injury.

The app, developed at Wichita State University, can detect the signs of a brain injury. While symptoms can be easily detected, some are very vague.

"I was really, and I was light-headed, and I was real sluggish for the most part," said Grant Guest, who suffered a minor concussion. "Yeah, it was pretty bad."

One way to test for a concussion is to measure a person’s balance, however machines that perform these tests costs roughly $15,000.

"Not every facility has the funding of the NFL so local high schools can't really afford to have this balance piece of equipment," Dr. Jeremy Patterson with Wichita State University said.

Therefore Dr. Patterson and a former student created this new application.

"It's a quick three-minute test. The balance is using the accelerometer in the phone. They hold it against their chest, stand on one foot, and we're measuring the sway of their upper body," Dr. Patterson said.

It also tests a player's balance while walking heel to toe. Comparing these scores to how the athlete normally performs the test.

Another aspect of the phone app includes memory tests.

"And then the reaction time is a simple test with a touch screen on the phone, how quickly you respond," Dr. Patterson said.

The application is not yet on the market. Once it is available, it will be called “concussion manager” and sports teams will be able to subscribe for $25 a player.


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