An App Could Soon Help Coaches Identify Concussion

The whole TryMunity team is dedicated to raising awareness of the effects of concussion and other forms of traumatic brain injury. One of the things that make TBI so challenging is the difficulty in diagnosing it quickly enough for treatment. For this reason, an article from the MIT Technology Review really caught our eye.

A Simple App Could Help Coaches Diagnosis Concussive Sports Injuries

People coaching youth sports teams are aware of the dangers associated with concussion but they do not always have the skill to identify this condition when it occurs. A simple tablet application may soon be able to help identify this form of brain injury while on the field. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have been developing a voice-analysis program that can be added to a tablet computer and used just like any other app. The program will analyze the vowels within a selection of predetermined words to see of the sounds indicate the occurrence of brain injury.

App Development Continues

While such a voice test has the potential to detect changes in speech even from a player who wishes to stay in the game, researchers have not yet declared the app ready for general use. During the initial testing phase it identified three false positives in boxers. Researchers are currently testing it with around 1,000 young sports players between ages 10 – 18 throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

We hope that this research helps coaches and parents more successfully treat young concussion patients. It is heartening to know that the problem of TBI in youth is being given such innovative attention. If you or someone you know has been affected by traumatic brain injury, contact us at 972-757-9312 to be connected with helpful resources.

Source: MIT Technology Review, “Voice-Analyzing App Scans Football Players for Concussion,” Susan Young, September 18, 2013.