New technology could help prevent concussions - KCTV5

New technology could help prevent concussions

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Huang and his start-up SeudoSkull, are working on a new helmet with several quick-reacting sensors. (KCTV5) Huang and his start-up SeudoSkull, are working on a new helmet with several quick-reacting sensors. (KCTV5)
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Parents across the nation and here in the Kansas City metro are taking more caution when it comes to their kids and concussions.

A new report from Blue Cross Blue Shield shows a steep increase in diagnosed concussions in the US.

One local start-up is coming up with new technology which aims to keep players safe.

In today’s world, technology is everywhere. And it continues to grow.

Case in point: your cell phone, which has what’s called an “accelerometer.” That’s how it knows which way is up.

Now scientists are using that technology in helmets in order to cut down on concussions and reduce the severity of a blow to the head. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield medical claims data shows rough-sports related concussions went up by 71 percent since 2010 for patients 10 to 19 years of age.

In the fall, during football season, boys are twice as likely to get concussions as girls.

The standard football helmet has a proven track record of preventing skull fractures but according to Chi-Ming Huang, UMKC Associate Professor, Neurologist and the inventor of the SeudoSkull helmet design, current helmets fall short in one important category.

“Helmets are fine, but they do not dissipate enough energy to save the player from a concussion," said Huang.

Huang and his start-up SeudoSkull, are working on a new helmet with several quick-reacting sensors.

Those sensors have accelerometers and other gadgets inside.

When a player gets hit while wearing the helmet, Huang says instead of a player suffering the full force of an impactful hit to the head, the sensors will act to spread out the energy from the hit across the body, hopefully allowing the player to avoid a concussion.

"The energy is dissipated through the shoulder pads through your body," Huang said. “So we literally channel the energy away from the head to the body.”

Paul Camarata is one of the neurologists on the field at NFL games who keeps an eye out for head injuries. He's also the chief neurologist at University of Kansas Hospital.

The SeudoSkull helmet is still in the testing phase at the University of Kansas.

But initial results are encouraging as SeudoSkull hopes to tackle concussions.

"Especially in the young brain, because we know and we’re very concerned that concussions in younger athletes may have a longer term impact and result in more severe injury to the brain," Camarata said.

"Right now, all I can do is judge that a concussion has taken effect," he said. "And then protect the player. But this is actually trying to in that split second before the brain hits the skull, is trying to minimize the impact on the brain. So that is really cool.”

To learn more about the SeudoSkull’s design, click here

To see the new Blue Cross Blue Shield report, click here

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