Concussions are one of the most difficult injuries to diagnose, yet they occur so frequently in sports-related settings. Trauma to the head, whether from playing football, hockey, soccer, or any other contact sport, presents the possibility of a concussion. Since the injury cannot be visibly seen, concussions often go untreated or unnoticed for long periods of time. Several sports medicine professionals have developed telehealth technologies to help prevent, diagnose, and treat these injuries.
One solution is called CheckLight, a sensor that measures acceleration to the head. A yellow or red light flashes on the helmet if a player experiences a direct hit, enabling them to be taken off the field and immediately checked for symptoms on the sidelines. Aside from sensors like CheckLight, adhesives are also being developed that will be able to collect biomarker information from the heart and brain, including body temperature or hydration levels.
Telemedicine booths are being used as a way to contact medical professionals. The booths have cameras that can zoom, tilt and pan in on a player’s head to diagnose an injury. This enables medical providers that aren’t present to assess the situation, or trainers to communicate with the provider regarding the injury. Advances like these will hopefully lead to earlier detection of serious concussions, and rapid diagnoses for other issues like fractures or sprains.
These technologies play a crucial part in diagnosing these injuries in a timely manner. Often times, concussions that go untreated for even a few days turn into more serious issues. Telehealth promotes real-time, immediate exam of the player, reducing the risk and danger associated with concussions, and other sports injuries.