Kansas football team to use innovative mouthguards

February 18, 2015 /
The University of Kansas football team this spring will begin using impact-sensing mouthguards to help trainers monitor hits suffered by players.

The Kansas football team plans to test impact-sensing mouthguards this spring.
The Kansas football team plans to test impact-sensing mouthguards this spring.

The Jayhawks are among the first college programs in the nation to test out the technology. The plan is to use it during spring practice and, if everything tests well, use it during the fall.

From The Kansas City Star:

To be clear, the mouthguards can’t diagnose concussions – that’s for training and medical staff to do.

What they can do is measure impact to a player’s head and send a digital alert to coaches and trainers when someone’s taken a hit hard enough to cause a concussion.

The mouthguards may be high-tech, but the good news is that football players don’t have to do anything they wouldn’t do with any old mouthguard.

They pop it in and out of their mouth at will, said i1 Biometrics president and CEO Jesse Harper, and the mouthguard does the rest — even sensing when to turn off and on.

“Think of it like a smartphone in your mouth,” he said. “But a player doesn’t have to worry about any of that. There’s no buttons, no blinky lights, nothing a player needs to do.”

High school and youth programs have used this type of technology, along with other types of helmet sensors, but this will be a good test for how reliable the technology can be.

Like helmet sensors, the mouthguards are not meant to diagnose concussions, rather alerting trainers to when a player may warrant further examination.

If you’re interested in how the mouthguards work, more information can be found here.

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