By: Gina Mason
Concussions are a hot button issue right now and have really impacted all levels of contact sports from small children all the way to the pros. Due to some recent studies that have linked the brain disease, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) with concussions and one major lawsuit by a group of retired NFL players, concussion awareness is on the rise.
No longer do coaches encourage players to “shake it off” after being struck in the head because we now know the detrimental, long-term effects traumatic brain injuries can have. We have witnessed former professional athletes who have had multiple concussions sadly suffer from mood swings, depression, dementia and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Understanding the complexities of concussions and effectively treating them is still very difficult. Each brain is different and symptoms and recovery time vary from person to person. This poses a huge problem for doctors because some symptoms may not appear and there is no way to fully determine when the brain is completely healed. However thanks to new technology, we now may be able to crack the concussion code and effectively diagnose concussions simply by using an iPad.
We all know Apple’s famous saying, “there’s an app for that” and surprisingly in this case, they have stayed true to that statement. There is now a new concussion management application called C3 Logix for the iPad that helps trainers, parents and coaches diagnose and assess concussions easily and effectively. Not only is the app changing the way concussions are diagnosed, it is giving trainers and coaches the ability to determine immediately if there is a possibility of a concussion from the sideline.
Through C3 Logix, players take baseline measurement tests in a normal state and then are retested if a concussion is suspected. The app then compares the data and indicates if there has been a drop in performance, which may be a result of a concussion. Some of the measurements within the app include balance, reaction time, processing as well as memory and visual tests.
After a player is diagnosed with a concussion, they can continue to use the app to track their progress and recovery. The app compiles all of the measurement results which can be shared with coaches and doctors to help them determine when the player can return to physical activity.
This innovative and convenient technology is groundbreaking for contact sports, especially youth sports. Obviously, professional sports teams have a medical staff readily available and can test players on the spot if an injury is suspected. However, youth and high school sports do not always have the resources to have a doctor or trainer on staff at all times which hinders concussion diagnoses and treatment. C3 Logix could really help youth and high school athletes stay safe and prevent further damage from a concussion. This app may be a small step towards uncovering the mysteries of concussions and making sure that athletes are fully recovered before resuming play.
I am incredibly interested to see how this technology evolves over the next several years and as someone who has suffered a sports-related concussion, I am very excited about these possible advances in treating concussions and promoting concussion awareness.
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