New iPad app can help concussion sufferers - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

New iPad app can help concussion sufferers

Nearly four million U.S. athletes suffer a concussion every year, and getting back into the game too soon can be deadly.

Researcher engineers at the Cleveland Clinic have developed an iPad app to detect when athletes have a concussion, and when it's safe for them to return to the game.

The app is installed on an iPad before it is strapped to Kerry Fox. The app will measure her balance now, just in case she gets a concussion later. Fox has already had two concussions since she started playing on the girl's volleyball team.

According to Susan Linder with the Cleveland Clinic, she can "measure someone's postural stability because there is an accelerometer and gyroscope right in the iPad."

Linder helped develop the concussion app and they are testing it on athletes. Users like team doctors gather baseline data on their athletes through a series of tests and questions.

Then that data is compared to the post concussion data. Linder says, "It's really hard to cheat on some of these tests. Hopefully we can prevent this and really get a better estimation of an athlete's baseline performance and post injury for their own safety."

Kerry Fox says the app would have kept her from returning too soon after her concussions. "You want to get back in the game right away and you want to start playing but it's just hard to hold yourself back and be honest in assessing that you really should sit out longer."

The app still needs a lot of testing, but should be available for doctors helping athletes on the field soon.

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