Concussions in sports have hit center stage as of late with the growing research on brain disease both at the professional and youth level. The CDC estimates that 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions occur each year affecting 5-10% of athletes, which is why every major news publication has been covering this issue.
As more is being learned about sport’s impacts and the effects of concussions on long term brain health, medical professionals are looking more into the history of concussions and the cumulative effect of those incidents. (source: http://www.concussiontreatment.com/concussionfacts.html#sfaq9)
A miniature sensor fits into a helmet or headband and wirelessly broadcasts data to our secure servers within seconds using Wi-Fi or personal hotspot. If these are not available, the data can be synced up once the device is back within Wi-Fi range.
Measures impacts of 1g to 250g via 3 axis accelerometer. G: a unit of force equal to the force exerted by gravity; used to indicate the force to which a body is subjected when it is accelerated. (source: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=g-force)
Determines direction of the impact a player sustains in six different directions.
Monitors the temperature within an athlete’s helmet or headband to the 10th of a degree from below zero to boiling.
When big hits happen or temperatures exceed preset thresholds, notifications are immediately sent to parents, coaches or trainers via text message, email, or the WatchDog mobile app. Alerts can be configured to inform users at desired levels, without distracting them unless there are serious issues detected. This provides maximum flexibility and ultimate protection from undetected concussions or excessive heat.
Sample Alert Events:
- Alerts parent when impact has occurred over 50.0g via mobile app
- Alerts coach when two or more impacts have over 40.0g in a week via email.
Mobile App Mockup
All alerts are sent ONLY to those designated by coaches and parents to protect an athlete’s personal information and are password protected.
All impacts and temperature history are stored in secure cloud servers for future analysis.
Multi-Sport / Multi-Season:
Athletes can use the same sensor across multiple sports for many years. This provides comprehensive data so that medical professionals have more access to an athlete’s impact history.
THE TECH BEHIND IT
WatchDog Sensor Prototype
The WatchDog Sensor has been designed using the Electric Imphttp://www.electricimp.com, a cutting edge hardware development platform for creating the “Internet of Everything.” The Electric Imp platform provides a small form-factor processor, memory, storage space, Wi-Fi transmitter, and API tools necessary to facilitate this project.
Along with the Imp, we have incorporated a heavy duty Accelerometer which measures from a few g’s up to 250 g impacts. Since the human body cannot survive more than 150g impacts we are confident that this provides enough range of measurement to satisfy even the most harsh of environments. We also included an onboard temperature sensor that takes continuous readings allowing us to monitor temperature conditions as well as the ability to watch for extreme heat that might cause dehydration or other heat related illnesses that are prevalent in many football programs.
WatchDog Sensor Diagram
A Lithium Ion battery is included as well as recharging hardware allowing this to be a convenient, low cost to operate, and environmentally friendly device. We then enclose all of this inside a waterproof and durable nylon casing that is strong enough to handle the physical conditions but also small enough to avoid interference with the athlete or their sport.
The Sensor transmits data via Wi-Fi to either available networks or personal hotspots through smartphones or standalone internet routers. The data is sent into the Cloud in a secure method that allows us to store in databases for immediate and also long term access for full analysis by trainers or medical professionals.
An iPhone/iPad app is being developed which allows parents, trainers, or athletes, the ability to monitor impact and temperature within seconds from anywhere on the internet. The interface is designed to allow for immediate notifications and easy-to-read graphs showing the severity of recent hits which allows the user the ability to determine if medical treatment is required.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
Currently we have a completed prototype and are looking to take this product to manufacturing. We are in the process of completing the final design that will allow this product to be minimized to a compact form factor easily embedded in an athletic helmet or headband. Campaign funds will help us finish the final design and set up manufacturing to get this product to market.