Nationwide Children’s App Would Help Trainers Determine When Athletes Could Return From Concussions

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UPDATED: Wednesday December 18, 2013 9:48 AM

Sports-related concussions continue to be a serious concern for young athletes in all sports.

A researcher at Nationwide Children's Hospital just won a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Football League to monitor sports related concussions and help determine when it's okay to return to play.
Football has one of the highest rates of concussion in youth athletics, but the traumatic brain injury occurs in all sports.

Dr. Lara McKenzie, a researcher at the Center for Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, earned a federal grant to find out if a mobile app will help monitor the injury:

"It's going to help coaches, parents and athletic trainers track the incidence of concussion and then monitor those injuries over time, make sure that everyone who needs to know is in the know and then help return those athletes safely to play,” said Dr. Lara McKenzie.

Our state has guidelines in place to diagnose and manage sports-related concussion but no system to track incidents and when it's safe to return to the field of play.

A Columbus based company called Inlightened created the Spot Light system app to focus on concussion tracking.

It's a real time sideline-based assessment of an athlete's condition, pinpointing even the area of contact and providing timed stability tests.

"It's going to give you instructions to read to the student athlete and then a timer and a way to record the errors they make,” said McKenzie.

Researchers hope to confirm whether it will make a difference with more concussions being reported and children getting medical care before getting back on the field.

The 'Evaluation of Spot Light' is one of eight studies funded nationwide-- and the only one in Ohio.

Funding comes from a partnership of the National Institutes of Health, the NFL and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

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