Smartphones might be the next best tool in the growing campaign against concussions in sports.

A team of head trauma researchers at the University of North Carolina has developed an application for mobile devices that will help athletic trainers, coaches and parents recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and if necessary, make a referral to a medical doctor.  The new aid is the first observer-based concussion app.  It allows the user to answer a set of questions.  Based on the answers to those questions, the app determines the likelihood of a concussion.  If a concussion is suspected, the app can email appropriate information to a doctor.  The intent of the tool is to speed up the response to possible concussions.

The app was introduced at the recent National Sports Concussion Cooperative.  Bill Griffin, of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, said the documentation of immediate concussion symptoms is very important.  That’s where this new smartphone app comes into play.

Concussions are a major issue in the world of sports today.  While concussions and their after-effects are garnering more media coverage at the NFL level, the biggest area of concern should be the high school and youth athletes whose brains are not fully developed and require more care and more recovery time from concussions than adults.  Here’s the scariest issue in a nutshell:  Too many high school and youth athletes suffer concussions without their coaches or parents knowing it.  And too many of these young athletes return to action too quickly.

Let’s hope this new smartphone app helps change that fact.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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