App helps detect concussions - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Helmet sensor helps detect potential concussions

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - British Army veteran, Danny Crossman, who's helped create the bomb disposal suit and helmet sensors used by the U.S. military to record impacts of IED blasts, has taken his knowledge of the battlefield and has applied it to the playing field, creating Shockbox.

"So, what we've created in Shockbox is something fairly similar to a smoke alarm.  When a smoke alarm goes off you don't run out of the house you go check for fire and with a helmet sensor like Shockbox when it goes off you shouldn't assume a player has a concussion, but you start checking," said Impakt Protective co-founder Danny Crossman.

Shockbox has been on the market since 2011.  The device, which can either be attached to the inside or outside of a hockey, football, lacrosse or snow sport helmet uses long range blue tooth to communicate impact data to an app downloaded to a smart phone in real time, up to 325 feet away.

"The more routinely we check players and not just accept their word that I am ok then you will increase that rate of surveillance and that's all this is, increasing awareness," said Crossman.

In addition to alerting people to a hit, which could result in a concussion, Shockbox provides a users the opportunity to input symptoms and take memory and balance tests.  The device also is able to provide a player history, which includes the frequency and intensity of impacts to the head.

"What we always teach our teams that we interact with is it is a system.  Helmet sensors are part of an overall system that requires education.  It requires correct equipment. It requires things like baseline testing and sideline assessments and sensors.  So, it's a holistic approach," said Crossman.

Shockbox has carried out its own ethics approved research studies.  Third party reviewers have also tested the technology.  Once charged, Shockbox will last up to 500 hours.  The device costs just under $150.00.

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