Concussion is a common injury in contact sports. Yet it can be hard to diagnose, even for a skilled medical practitioner.

HeadsafeIP is working on a solution, a Concussionometer, enabled by technology. It aims to create a new device and metric for concussion evaluation that will become the Gold Standard to which all others are compared.

Concussion and related technology, HeadsafeIP says, is the number one issue in the sports med/tech sectors today. “To date, there has been a reliance on neurocognitive tests, subjective and unreliable athlete questionnaires as well as physical tests (eg visual and balance tests),” it says.

“These have a low sensitivity and specificity and are lacking in perceived validity by both the medical and lay communities.”

The HeadsafeIP Concussionometer is designed to be used on the field by a clinician to quickly and reliably assess whether a player should return to play/practice after a blow to the head, and in follow-up after recovery from concussion to determine whether the player is safe to return to play.

This device comprises what is effectively a helmet fitted with electrodes to monitor electrical activity in the brain and with lights that shine a predetermined pattern of flashes into the patient’s eyes.

These light patterns generate electrical activity in the wearers’ brain – the visual evoked potential (VEP) — which is picked up by the electrodes and transmitted to a smartphone or similar device.

HeadsafeIP says concussion has been shown to produce changes in VEP so its device can provide a reliable means of detecting concussion.

It is now working add Bluetooth technology so the treating doctor can upload data to a secure cloud, retain an audit trail of incidents and finding for subsequent follow up and for referral purposes.

HeadsafeIP has partnered with a number of other companies to develop the Concussionometer; Vestech has helped on certification to the ISO13485 medical device standard certification. LX-Group worked on the electrical design, 4Design on industrial design, Servian on the smartphone app and Blue Quality Studios on server and backend development.

HeadsafeIP is only at the start of its journey. Its aim with the Concussionometer and devices that will follow it is “to build a healthcare industry enterprise based on design, production, hardware and software development, testing, clinical trials, system implementation and product marketing.”

It believes that, as objective testing for concussion becomes entrenched, further innovations into predictive metrics and treatment protocols are highly likely.

HeadsafeIP’s Concussionometer is a finalist in the Best Healthcare or Sport Project category in the 2018 Australian IoT Awards being held at the IoT Festival on 4 June in Melbourne.