I really need to keep up with my back issues of Wired. After posting about the possible use of portable sensors in sports to monitor defense and skills, I came across this feature in Wired about different kinds of sensors, including one made by X2 Biosystems to measure head impacts. This system uses a small, adhesive sensor, placed behind the athlete’s ear, to monitor the force of head impacts in real time. This provides additional data that coaches and medical staff on the sideline can use in judging whether a player should be allowed back on the field or not after a blow to the head.
I’m curious how sensitive these sensors are and whether they could or do record less extreme events like rapid acceleration and deceleration while players run on the field. The nice thing about the X2 system is that information is collected in an application that allows collation of health care provider information and clinical results as well, keeping data in one place. I’m also curious if the general, anonymized data will be made publicly available. According to the Wired article, a number of collegiate and amateur sports organizations are gathering data as part of a central initiative, presumably to monitor and prevent concussions. It would be interesting to see if other things could be studied from that data.