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New headband helps detect potential concussions

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

It’s about to get easier for coaches and parents to decide whether an athlete has had a potentially serious blow to the head.

Two Michigan State University professors have invented an impact-sensing headband to help people on the sidelines make quick decisions if a player takes a hit.

On the outside, the device looks like any other stretchy athletic headband, but this headband has pockets for wireless sensors that record the location and severity of an impact.

The sensors look like thin white strips. If an athlete gets hit, circles and stars appear on the strip to show where and how hard.

“The most important thing we were looking for was something that would provide a very easy reading, something that you don’t need to be an expert [to read],” said co-inventor Marcos Dantus.

Affordability also played a key role in the invention.

Dantus and co-inventor Gary Blanchard say they’re hoping to outfit high school and youth teams with the devices, to help parents and coaches make quick decisions after a head impact occurs.

“There’s a large number of kids who are involved in sports, and the younger the age distribution, it tends to be the less expertise there is [on the sidelines],” Blanchard said.

The headbands will be for sale in limited quantities starting in August.

You can see a video of Dantus and Blanchard testing their inventionhere.

Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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