Tokyo - An app has been developed to help manage athletes’ concussions, by keeping records of players’ conditions when they display signs of the disorder.
The app was developed by a study group led by the Jikei University School of Medicine. It has been adopted on a trial basis by the American football club at Hosei University, known as a collegiate powerhouse, to manage the health of its players.
Concussions are caused by an impact to the head, neck or other parts of the body, and result in such symptoms as temporary confusion and loss of consciousness. The risk of aftereffects to the brain increases with repeated concussions, or after suffering a series of concussions in a short period of time, so managing a patient’s health after they develop symptoms is very important.
Hiroyuki Takao, an associate professor at the Jikei University School of Medicine in Minato Ward, Tokyo, specializes in neurosurgery and works for the Hosei club. Together with an information technology company, he developed an app that can record the severity of concussions on smartphones and tablets.
The app enabled Takao to ascertain the condition of more than 100 Hosei team members without visiting the team’s practice ground in Kawasaki.
When a player shows signs of the disorder, such as dizziness or headaches, after a collision, team assistants and other people on the scene are the first to use the app. They input information by responding to questions such as “Did the player lose consciousness?” and “Can the player speak?”
This and other information will be used by a doctor to ascertain the general condition of a player via a smartphone. The doctor can then issue instructions on emergency treatment through the app.
It can also be used to share information on follow-up treatment. A doctor who diagnoses a player with a concussion will input information about whether the player is capable of taking part in practice sessions or games, which helps coaches make decisions.
Players can also confirm their condition and study rehabilitation measures with the app, and return to the field after completely recovering.
“Playing American football should never ruin a player’s life,” Hosei coach Shuichi Yasuda said. “I want to strictly manage the concussions of players and work hard to secure their safety.”