Once attached inside a player's helmet, the ShockboxTM wireless impact sensor from Impakt Protective measures the g-force of a hit to the helmet from any direction, sending data wirelessly via Bluetooth to a smart phone or laptop computer of an athletic trainer, coach or parent on the sideline, and triggering an alert when the athlete suffers a head impact that may of sufficient force to be concussive so they can be checked on the sideline using standard concussion assessment tools, such as the Standardized Assessment of Concussion, Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT2) or King-Devick test.
As with other helmet sensor systems, the Shockbox is designed to give parents, trainers, coaches and team doctors a set of electronic of eyes with which to watch out for concussions that might otherwise go undetected, either because the signs were too subtle to be seen by officials, coaches, athletic trainers, team doctors or parents on the sports sideline, or because the player, out of a desire to stay in the game, failed to self-report experiencing concussion symptoms, such as headache or dizziness, that warrant, at the very least, further evaluation.
The Shockbox can also count the number of hits, which some concussion experts suggest should be limited in order to reduce exposure to the kind of repetitive sub-concussive hits which one recent study found can lead to short-term cognitive impairment among high school football players (at least among those experiencing 150 or more hits in the 40 to 80 g range during a single week of practice and games).
While capable of tracking hits anywhere from about 30g up to over 200g, the Shockbox is calibrated to only capture hits at around the 50 g or higher level. The reason, says Impakt Protective's CEO, Danny Crossman, is that studies show that 96% or more of the impacts in hockey and 85% plus in football are below the 50g level. Such device settings are also, says Crossman, designed to balance false positive and false negative alerts so that parents and teams will be more likely to continue using the Shockbox system. Too many false positives, he says, and the device would end up like a car alarms: "Because they go off all the time, no one ever pays attention to them anymore."
Versions of the Shockbox are now available for football and hockey helmets; versions for lacrosse and ski and snowboard helmets are in the product development pipeline. For more about the Shockbox sensor, click here.
As one of the first impact sensor systems available at the time of production in 2012, the Shockbox sensor was featured in MomsTEAM's new high school football concussion documentary, "The Smartest Team."
IMPORTANT NOTE: The information in this article has been furnished by Brain Sentry and MomsTEAM is not responsible for its accuracy. It is provided solely as a service to MomsTEAM viewers.