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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

Affordable Adolescent Athletic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Risk Management System

Project Period: 09/01/2011-08/31/2012
Application/Grant Number: 1R43CE002082-01A1
Principal Investigator: HEDIN, DANIEL S
6901 E FISH LAKE RD, STE 190
(763) 515-5335


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Some 1.6 to 3.8 million mild traumatic brain injuries occur annually in the United States as a result of recreational activities. Approximately 300,000 of these injuries result in a loss of consciousness. Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years are more likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury than other age groups in part due to sporting activities such as football, hockey, and soccer. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to long term disabilities and even death, especially if not properly treated. In a given year, 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent of the 1.2 million interscholastic football athletes sustain concussions. Only about half of high school football players reported their injury after sustaining a minor concussion. Unreported concussions are often left untreated and have an increased potential to become more serious injuries than those receiving prompt medical assessment. Data collected from instrumented sports helmets can be used as an independent indication of injury. However currently available instrumentation systems are too costly (>$65,000 per team) for widespread use in organized adolescent sports. The goal of this proposed program is to develop a substantially less expensive and easier to use system. A less expensive system will be more available to adolescent football teams where cost is a barrier to the adoption of advanced injury prevention technology. Adolescent athletes are particularly vulnerable to this type of injury due to their continued brain development and reduced strength in their neck. The proposed technology is also suitable for monitoring athletes in sports such as hockey, lacrosse, baseball, etc.