Reebok is testing a new head impact indicator on players on a junior hockey team in New Jersey. The device measures the amount of force that the player’s head receives. Players wear a skullcap with a blinking light that is just below the back of their helmet. If it blinks green, everything is good. Yellow is a warning that an impact threshold was nearly achieved. Red means that enough force was received for a potential head injury. That helps the coaches to know to check the player out right away. They can see at a glance if the player received a head impact.
Many concussions go undetected and thus are untreated. Coaches can’t watch everyone all of the time. If a head hit occurs out of the coaches’ line of sight the coach might not even know it’s happened. Oftentimes, the biggest danger is of repeated concussions. For instance, a small concussion followed by another concussion is far worse than a single concussion. Concussions are cumulative. This device allows coaches to easily monitor impacts at a glance.
This research is also applicable to other kinds of trauma, such as for victims of a car accident. Awareness of head injuries is growing, but is still limited. Sometimes symptoms may not show up for a few days. Symptoms to look for if you or someone you know has been in an accident include: memory problems, balance problems, vision changes, personality changes, or inability to organize a task.
There’s more detailed information in this video by the NY Times.