With the ongoing attention that is given to traumatic brain, neck, spine and head injuries in sports at all levels, there is a greater demand than ever for people to be able to identify symptoms of such injuries and recognize them almost instantly. For instance, in the wake of the many lawsuits that former players are filing against the National Football League, professional football officials have instituted sideline concussion testing policies for when players suffer what seem to be significant, traumatic injuries. And while that’s great for NFL players, it does little to help the amateur athletes that unknowingly suffer injuries, or even just the casual exercise enthusiast.
Fortunately, the Rainbow Coral Group of Canada believes that it has developed a new smartphone application that could prove to be equally beneficial to the casual athlete, playing in youth or recreational leagues. Working with a $1.5 million grant from the Canadian government, Hockey Canada has helped turned this app into an extensive encyclopedia of medical information that can help coaches, officials and parents, among others, identify the early symptoms and warning signs of head injuries, such as concussions. The app will also provide users with news updates about the latest TBI research and treatments.
“The potential for this technology to change the way concussions are handled in sports is huge,” said RBCC CEO Patrick Brown. “Apps can be customized not only for hockey, but for football and other rough sports and deployed on sidelines and trainers’ rooms around the world instantaneously. It’s precisely the kind of technological advance that could help eliminate the risk of TBI to our athletes.”
While a smartphone app may seem insignificant compared to other recent breakthroughs in nanoparticle science and medical research, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg for RBCC’s ambitions in developing treatments for TBI. Currently, the company is negotiating work witha NASA-developed bioreactor that works with stem cells and could provide incredible further breakthroughs in TBI research and treatment.