Can Wearable Devices Catch a Concussion

July 20, 2022 - 5 minutes read

A recent study published in Nature has reported on a new application for wearable devices; the early detection of a concussion. In this report, researchers identified an innovative approach to concussion diagnosis, one where an mHealth application detects, identified and records neck movement that would be characteristic of a concussion-inducing incident. This proposed early identification application provides both individuals and healthcare providers with brain injury data hours before other more traditional tests may render any useful information. 

What does this proposed scientific feat mean for app development and the greater digital innovation ecosystem? Well, as an mHealth app development firm recognized as one of the leading New York Based app development firms, we feel that this is one of many applications that will radically transform how users receive healthcare. 

The Value of an mHealth Concussion Application

Head injuries are a serious issue. Often sustained in a car accident, playing sports or even riding a bicycle, According to CDC estimates,1.6-3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. And while a mild concussion may not be a cause for major concern, serious concussions can pose serious long-term health consequences and even death.

To this, finding a way to enhance early detection practices, is one way to dramatically reduce the negative repercussions of the concussion. In fact, this device aims to deliver real-time data moments after a concussion-inducing event long before other symptoms of a concussion such as slurred speech, memory loss, or serve headaches are present.

How Researchers Approached the Challenge

The majority of concussions come from blows to the head. In these scenarios, individuals will sustain a quick neck jolts, a type of movement that’s almost always representative of a concussion, or at least an elevated risk. This was the key that led researchers to hypothesize if they can design a system to register these unique types of head movements characteristic of a concussion. For instance, the team surmised if they could capture the movement with an accelerometer, the researchers would be able to derive a motion-detecting sensor that could be a reliable data collecting tool. 

Chief researcher of this innovative technology, Nelson Sepulveda and his colleagues, found that the rapid growth of telehealth and wearable devices paved the way for this new technology and believed that this could be an area of use for modern technology. 

The Tests 

To combat this common issue, Sepulveda and the research team developed a novel patch sensor made of thermoplastic material, which they tested using a dummy device containing accelerator-based sensors in the head. 

After dropping the equipped dummy from a 61- centimeter height, they discovered that not only does the sensor create electrical energy when touched, but it also presented a 90 percent positive correlation with movement detection coming from the head. Although the study reported insightful findings and proved that the device is reliable, further testing using human athletes is necessary to confirm the validity of the system. Wearable devices to monitor sudden injuries are used commonly and continue to grow more prominent.

About Dogtown Media

Here at Dogtown Media we understand how important your mobile application is to deliver innovative health solutions in the mHealth space. To this,  we are more than just developers your hire. We are your partners, working in lockstep with you to create the best mobile application possible for your business that connects with your target audience. We get to know not just your project but your company and the people who make it a success. 

Take advantage of our free consultation to speak to our mobile application development experts.


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