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New Device Could Guard Against Football-Related Concussions

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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Accelerometer (credit: CBS 11 News)

Accelerometer (credit: CBS 11 News)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Concussions are a huge concern for football players, especially younger players.

A new device, created at the University of Texas at Dallas, could change the game when it comes to protecting them on the field.

It’s called the Accelerameter and it can keep track of the hard hits a player experiences in a game.

“It tells us how hard a player’s been hit. The purpose is to tell us, the player needs to do a neurological exam, to see if he’s impaired,” said Dr. Rob Rennaker, UTD’s Biomedical Device Center Director.

The accelerometer — along with an eye cover gadget, which can measure brain function — are the offense and defense in the game against brain impact for athletes, says Dr. Rennaker.

“You put it on and start a series of five tests, and it tells you if your brain response was slower than pre-game.”

The Accelerameter is placed behind a player’s ear. The data is collected by the player and downloaded to his smartphone. When it’s available next year, Dr. Rennaker says it will cost about 25 dollars. He believes the device can be a pretty important tool, particularly at the high school level.

“You need to empower these kids and athletes to take care of their own health choices.”

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