By Rawlson King, February 6, 2015
i1 Biometrics announced this week that members of the University of Kansas football team will wear the Vector MouthGuard as the instrument of telemetry to measure the brain’s linear and rotational accelerations from impacts experienced in practices and games in 2015.
“We’re continuously looking for the latest technology to better understand head impacts, as well as apply sports science to detect when a player has been concussed,” said Murphy Grant, Head Football Athletic Trainer at the University of Kansas. “We’re excited about building a new relationship with i1 Biometrics and we believe this technology will reinforce Kansas as an innovative institution that offers the latest technology to help with player safety and overall performance.”
i1 Biometrics recently demonstrated the Vector Intelligent Mouthguard at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show. The Vector Mouthguard, featuring proprietary technology, has been called “revolutionary” in its ability to gather and disseminate highly-accurate intracranial impact data, by way of providing objective information, in real-time.
Its proprietary algorithms allow for highly accurate data to be collected by powerful, microelectronic sensors. Once collected, the data is analyzed and translated into robust visual representations that aid athletic trainers, doctors and coaches.
i1 Biometrics bills its intelligent mouthguard product as a complete solution to the growing epidemic of undiagnosed sports brain injuries. The wearable device can measure the location and level of each hit an athlete has absorbed and create a real-time assessment of the athlete’s exposure to impacts sustained on the sports field.
According to the company, its scientists have pioneered a proprietary collection of advanced accelerometer and gyroscope technology embedded on a microscopic circuit board within each mouthguard. The result, as demonstrated exclusively to BiometricUpdate.com at CES 2015, is a device that can detect traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury, including concussions, occurs in sporting activities when the head is subjected to sudden high magnitude acceleration due to an impact. As reports of head injuries for “contact sports” continue to increase, sports personnel need more information about what is going on inside a player’s head at the first sign of impact. i1 Biometrics has prioritized its research and development efforts in areas surrounding both linear and rotational acceleration.
Linear acceleration occurs when the head experiences a change in speed while moving in a straight line, for example when an outfielder collides with the outfield wall while tracking a deep fly ball. Rotational acceleration occurs when the head experiences a change in its rate of rotation, even if there is no straight-line motion.
Since most sporting impacts include components of both linear and rotational acceleration, i1 Biometrics made it a goal to create a measurement system that could capture all the elements relevant to brain injury through groundbreaking wearable technology.
The ultimate result is that i1 Biometrics’ Vector Mouthguard product can provide quantitative and accurate real-time impact data about athletes which can be stored and monitored over entire athletic career. The system allows impact alerts to be wirelessly sent to sideline personnel and also includes a suite of tools that support athlete assessment, concerning: “in bench” versus play decisions, along with recovery and safe return-to-play protocols.
All impacts regardless of magnitude are recorded and the data is sent to a private cloud. Athletic training and medical staff can choose to turn thresholding on if desired and can set multiple thresholds of their choosing both for the team and at the individual level. While the device is meant for real-time assessment, i1 Biometrics is careful to emphasize that its system is not intended for use as a diagnostic tool and cannot prevent concussions.
The system is a tool for athletic trainers and sports medicine personnel to receive highly accurate, objective data, allowing them to make more informed decisions on the field. While the system can aid in the assessment, evaluation and analysis of head injuries, it is only part of a larger, comprehensive concussion management solution to be provided by the schools, teams, and organizations.