Equipment

Impact Sensors: Frequently Asked Questions

The last several years have seen a growing number of companies introduce to the consumer market the first generation of impact sensors intended for real time monitoring of impacts to the heads of athletes in actual games and practices. Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions about sensors.

AFL Becomes First Professional Sports League to Require Helmet Impact Sensors

The Arena Football League (AFL), in partnership with Brain Sentry, has become the first professional sports league to require helmet-mounted impact sensors to alert sideline personnel to hits that may cause concussion.

NOCSAE Meeting: Lots Of Questions, But No Answers

Last Friday, I attended the summer meeting of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) at the Boston Harbor Hotel. It was hard to be inside on such a spectacular summer day, but made easier by the location of the meeting: in the Atlantic Room, directly above Rowe's Wharf, with a view of a sparkling Boston harbor filled with sailboats and power boats. Boston harbor skyline with Rowes Warf

The summer meeting of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) was held in a room overlooking Boston harbor, but the view was about the only thing that made it worth attending, says Brooke de Lench.

Research Papers and Peer-Reviewed Studies: A World of Difference

 

Last week, we posted to the site a group of four articles about a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Neurosurgery showing that football helmet design affected concussion risk among a large group (or what scientists call a "cohort") of college football players.

Last week, we reported on a peer-reviewed study showing that football helmet design affected concussion risk. At the same time, we received a press release about an abstract of a research paper on football helmets reporting that they do very little to protect kids against the rotational forces that cause concussion.  MomsTEAM decided not to report on the paper, and here's why.

 

Study Showing Football Helmet Design Reduces Concussion Rate Raises Many Questions, Says NOCSAE's Oliver

A 2014 study (Rowson S, Duma SM, et al 2014) reporting that football helmet design can reduce concussion risk raises more questions than it answers, says Mike Oliver, Executive Director of the National Operating Committee Standards and Equipment (NOCSAE), the non-profit group that sets standards for football helmets.

Study Showing Helmet Design Can Reduce Concussion Risk Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

A new study provides the first good clinical evidence that helmet design can lower the risk of concussion in games and practices but leaves unanswered the practical question faced by football parents, coaches, and administrators: whether a difference in concussion risk reduction exists between currently available helmet models incorporating the latest design features.

NOCSAE Approves Development of First Football Helmet Standard to Address Concussions

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) board of directors has approved the development of a revised football helmet standard that will require helmets to limit certain concussion-causing forces. The revised standard was approved in June 2014, and will be implemented, after a period of public comment, in June 2016.

NOCSAE Ruling On Helmet Sensors Generates Controversy

The July 2013 decision by NOCSAE that modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons, absent retesting and recertification as configured, renders the certification void may be necessary to protect the integrity of its helmet standard, but at the cost of depriving athletes of cutting-edge concussion safety products.

NOCSAE and Helmet Sensors: An Ounce Of Prevention

There is still confusion about the recent position, or should I say positions, taken by NOCSAE over the past month, first deciding that the certification of any helmet with a third-party add-on would be viewed as automatically void, then, this past week, making a 180-degree U-turn and leaving it up to the helmet manufacturers to decide whether affixing impact sensors to the inside or outside of a helmet voided the certification.  Unless you read my article on NOCSAE's original decision and Lindsay Barton's this past week on its clarification, and perhaps even if you did, you are probably scratching your head and wondering what the heck is going on!

Well, I am scratching my head, too.

With all the controversy surrounding NOCSAE's recent rulings on the effect of third-party add-ons on helmet certification, what Brooke de Lench and others are wondering is why NOCSAE isn't asking the helmet manufacturers to explain to them and the rest of us how a 2-ounce piece of plastic stuck to a 4+ pound football helmet has them so worried?  Whether the NOCSAE rulings were intended to put the brakes on the market for helmet sensors to give the helmet manufacturers time to catch up, it is hard to see how it won't have exactly that effect, she says.

Impact Sensors: Brain Sentry

Brain Sentry was founded by a team of award-winning product developers with backgrounds in aerospace, medical products and sports.The result of Brain Sentry's efforts has been the development of an innovative helmet-mounted device that alerts when an athlete suffers a potentially dangerous impact. We help coaches, parents and safety monitors identify players that should be evaluated for a concussion.
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