Wireless impact detection system
Recently, brain trauma caused by multiple concussions has become a pressing issue for contact sports, mainly American football players. The severity of the impacts in these sports have led to discussion concerning the standard safety equipment used, as well as the rules enforcing a certain style of play. Multiple studies have shown that concussions have damaging long-term effects, including dementia and memory loss. The dominant professional football organization, the National Football League (NFL), employs qualified athletic trainers to diagnose and treat players with concussions, but many incidents still go undetected. This problem is magnified at the youth level, where the appropriate personnel and equipment are not readily available, further complicating the detection and treatment of concussions. Our senior design team worked to create a system that helps athletes and trainers detect severe head impacts that may result in concussions. Our system consists of a small transmitting device comprised of an accelerometer and microcontroller, and a mobile application that will work on the Apple iPad and iPhone, but can later be tailored to any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. We were able to design a working system that includes one device connected to a mobile application, while proposing network architecture that would support multiple devices connecting to a single mobile application. In the near future we hope that our product will help create a safer sporting environment by decreasing the odds that a concussion will go undetected and untreated. We expect that data collected from our devices will help researchers prevent concussions and head trauma. Our goal is to encourage participation in contact sports like football without the fear of long-term consequences. We hope that our device can also be modified for use in other areas where brain damage is a major issue, such as the military.