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Scientists Develop Concussion Detecting System for Helmets

Sep, 2022

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This new concussion detection system consists a thin-film adhesive-patch sensors that can be integrated into helmets for detecting the telltale neck movements

Sports-related concussions can be dangerous, as athletes may not even realize about having one. Now in a new study, a team of researchers have developed a new system of sensors that detects concussion with as it tracks the telltale neck movements of the wearer. With this new system, athletes and their coaches can now know about the concussion, as it would be on their neck instead of head.

Many studies have created helmet-integrated sensors for detecting all the types of impacts related to concussions. However, these devices are not always accurate, since they could send an alert despite of no concussion. In order to create a more accurate and efficient device, in this new study the team of researchers created a thin-film adhesive-patch sensor for detecting the telltale neck movements.

The prototype device is as small as a bandage and nearly 0.1 mm thick. The researchers incorporated a piezoelectric material to generate electrical charge as it gets compressed or stretched. The charge data gets transferred to a computer, which then can be analyzed for determining the grade impact of the concussion. The researchers tested this system by placing accelerometers in a dummy head, and applied some of the bandage sensors to back, front and both the side of flexible neck of that head. Then, the team dropped the head nearly 2ft onto a hard surface.

Furthermore, the team compared the readings of new device to those from the accelerometers. It revealed that both the systems showed equal performance at detection of impacts that cause concussion. However, the bandage patches wouldn’t create false alarms from helmet sliding related to the head. The team now is finding new methods to streamline the patch design, to equip it in a transmitter sending data to mobile device or computer that is nearby.

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