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Impact Sensors: A Missing Piece of Head Injury Programs

As for the FITGuard, co-founder Bob Merriman said bringing it to market "has been a 5-year labor of love to get things right."  Testing in 2017 with Arizona State University's athletic department yielded what he characterized as "terrific results (quality data, all core competencies demonstrated, positive feedback from athletes)."  Based on the feedback from that beta testing, the company made some improvements to fit and charging efficiency, but the changes, even though they did not directly involve the sensor technology, will require another round of validation testing.

Merriman reported that design work was completed and that the first units would be manufactured in August 2018.  "We hope to conclude lab testing in September and then conduct another round of field testing with athletes again this fall.  If the testing results in good data validity, we plan to have units ready for sale in early 2019," he said.  "As a parent myself, it's absolutely critical to us that we develop a solution that I'd be comfortable with my own kids wearing," Merriman stated.

Standard equipment

While progress over the last five years has been slow, I continue to believe, as I did when MomsTEAM featured impact sensors in The Smartest Team, that their use will eventually revolutionize the way in which athletes are identified for remove-from-play screening on the sports sideline, and that they will become standard equipment in all contact and collision sports. 

When that day will come is impossible to say, but with companies such as Athlete Intelligence, Tozuda, Prevent Biometrics, and FitGuard working to refine the technology, improve its accuracy, and lower the cost, I predict that it won't be long.

This article was originally published on Medium.com on August 20, 2018