PROTXX – Wearable Sensors to Reduce Neurological and Orthopedic Impact Injury Risks
With the NFL season starting this month we have just the right gadget for you. Protxx sensors can help make this and other sports much safer!
Concerns about concussions have led to significant increases in medical and legal costs, along with declining participation, that together are threatening the viability of many sports. Despite all these concerns, concussions are now known to represent just the tip of the iceberg; the accumulation of many smaller, routine, “sub-concussive” head impacts has also been shown to damage neural tissues and lead to long-term degenerative disorders such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Less appreciated is the fact that these sub-concussive head impacts also cause balance impairments that in turn significantly increase the risks of subsequent orthopedic injuries. In the U.S. alone, 40 million youth athletes are exposed to these neurological and orthopedic injury risks from sub-concussive impacts every year, but because most show no immediate symptoms, less than ten percent of initial injuries are even identified.
To help identify these injury risks, Protxx has developed a tiny sensor that can be worn behind the ear as a small adhesive patch, by athletes of any age or performance level, and in any sport. The Protxx sensor is basically a very sensitive seismometer for the brain, and it has 2 functions. As a head impact dosimeter, it puts the functionality of an MRI machine behind each athlete’s ear, warning when neural tissue deformations due to cumulative sub-concussive head impacts approach levels that could lead to permanent damage. As a precision balance monitor, it puts the functionality of a clinical balance assessment system behind each athlete’s ear, to quantify the severity and duration of balance impairments that result from cumulative impact exposure.
By combining the above 2 functions, the Protxx sensor, app, and data analytics platform allow athlete management and sports medicine professionals to monitor and test an entire team of athletes in parallel, making quick and thorough daily assessments possible, before, during, and after every game and practice if desired. Protxx is also leveraging advanced data analytics and machine learning technologies to automate the process of extracting and correlating key indicators of injury risk and severity from the large volumes of feature-rich head impact and postural sway data generated on a daily basis. By providing a real-time snapshot of the onset and progression of impact-induced changes to both neurovestibular and musculoskeletal physiology, the Protxx platform allows athletes at risk to be identified in real time and flagged for evaluation, rapidly triaged, and then referred to the appropriate athletic trainer, physical therapist, or medical specialist for any required further assessments.
Beginning in September 2018, Protxx is launching multiple pilot deployments with clinical neurology and sports medicine providers, along with both amateur and professional sports organizations. Next chances to meet the team are at our conference in Melbourne in October and in Munich next February!