STTR Phase I: Synchronizing Video Imagery with Wearable Sensor Data and Side-by-Side Modeling Software to Develop Healthy Habits in Children Who Participate in Sports

Period of Performance: 07/01/2016 - 06/30/2017

$225K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

CoachSafe PlaySafe LLC
13 Worthington Avenue
New Castle, PA 16105
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802
Institution POC

Abstract

This STTR Phase I project will develop Android and Apple iPhone apps to allow for mobile-enabled, rapid correction of improper or dangerous techniques in sports activities. The project goal is to eliminate dangerous, unhealthy behaviors in young athletes and replace them with non-damaging skills and techniques. In its simplest form, the technology presents a player with a video clip of their own behavior, paired with head impact data measured using worn sensors and physics-based simulations showing what occurs in the brain during dangerous hits. The quantitative biomechanical data is used to predict possible functional brain deficits and presented to the user in an age-appropriate manner. By combining a mouth guards with sensors, sideline video replay technology, physics-based brain simulations, on-line instruction and observational learning, coaches and trainers will be able to correct dangerous techniques and behaviors in sports activity as they occur. Coaches and trainers will also be able to show players video of their own technique following a significant impact to the head next to a synchronized clip of an athlete completing the same movements, but with no head impact. As a result, children and adolescents will learn there is never an acceptable level of head contact. Whether applied to football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer or one of any number of physical activities, this coaching tool will provide immediate instruction and self-reinforcing behavior modification. The proposed technology enables unprecedented resolution of the biomechanical response during sports activities by combining synchronized video, wearable impact sensors and physics-based simulations that will identify dangerous incidents, with the goal of obtaining real time technique modification and therefore a dramatic reduction in the occurrence of injury. It is important to note that while sensor technology and analytical methods have advanced dramatically in the last several years, the integration of synchronized video technology would be a critical tool in helping players understand and prevent dangerous head impacts from occurring in contact sports. The mobile apps will be an innovative approach to reducing the number and severity of concussive and sub concussive blows to the head. Integrating sensor data, synchronized with video technology and physics-based impact simulations showing what occurs in the brain during dangerous impacts into a mobile app is innovative to the sporting industry and offers an opportunity to improve player safety in sports. The broader impact of the system is to show students and athletes dangerous techniques as soon as they occur along side of how their behavior could be modified, which will reduce the occurrence of serious injuries in sports and fitness pursuits causing health-enhancing activities to be rendered much safer.