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March 09, 2015

Smart mouthguard targets youth football concussions

The technology sends messages to team personnel indicating area of head hit

Health News Youth Sports
Youth Football Mike Roemer/AP

Saving youth football: How technology can prevent long-term damages

Jesse Harper isn't the first person to create a form of technology aimed at curbing football concussions. 

But Harper's invention tapped into something more than safety, something many teams and players also care deeply about: Winning.

His smart-sensored Vector Mouthguard detects impacts to the head and wirelessly sends alerts to team personnel on the sideline via mobile app. 

But also attractive is the technology's ability to point out the improper hits that led to those impacts and then correct those mistakes, Harper told Elite Daily.

In other words, avoid injuries and penalties.

The product is projected to hit the market this month at a cost of $199. Preorders are now being accepted online, and several teams have already started trying out the devices, including, most recently, Texas A&M University's football team.

“Youth football players ages 9–12 can incur an average of 240, and up to 585, head impacts per season at magnitudes that parallel those experienced by high school and collegiate football players,” according to a team of researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

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