Smart Helmets To Solve Footy Concussion Woes
We are lovers of football and we’ll do everything in our power to keep playing; even to the point of applying our best scientific minds to ensure that the concussion-controversy is eliminated. Smart helmets make it possible to detect possible concussions from the sidelines, and thanks to a sterling resolve by management at the University of Dalhousie’s football department, this year’s players will each benefit from the latest technology in safe-football-tech.
And make no mistake; this particular tech doesn’t come cheap. At $500 a pop, kitting out an entire team can become quite costly indeed. But when it’s for the love of the game, money is apparently no issue, and Head Coach Mark Haggett said that the decision was made all the easier by the fact that football, being the very physical and violent game that it is, is bigger than big and the health and safety of the players a top priority in the eyes of the university’s management.
The helmets; sold under the brand Riddel Speedflex; certainly classify as smart tech. The gear is able to record as well as accurately measure impacts suffered by the heads of players. Once the impact reaches a specific curfew, an alert is signalled and broadcast to hand-held devices on the sideline.
The signal is designed to be pre-emptive. Upon having received the alert as well as the triggering statistics, coaches and/or medical personnel are then able to make a call based on the information received, whether or not to recall a particular player from the field at any given time, for further medical evaluations.
A Canadian First
According to the coach, he believes that according to his knowledge, the university is the first to have acquired the special smart helmets for its players. Haggett said that the current process of detection is primitive and quite crude at best, relying on players to report injuries and coaches to rely on a kind of sixth sense to detect possible problems on the field.
Team President Casey Jones, himself a former player-turned-coach, having played pro-football for the Dal Tigers for all of 4 seasons, agrees with Haggett that the new helmets are a vast improvement over how possible concussions were approached in the past. Said Jones, players do not always even realise that they are in danger of suffering a concussion, let alone have the clarity of mind to report their suspicions and possible medical incidents.