Samsung Australia has unveiled a prototype for a connected headband that helps athletes monitor their risk for concussions, called brainBand.

The headband was developed by Industrial Designer, Branden Wilson, and Neuroscientist, Dr Alan Pierce, who took part in Samsung’s Mixed Talents campaign, which pairs two people from different industries to solve certain problems.

The two researchers created a prototype that can track impacts to the head in contact sports in real-time, with the aim to use this data to better understand concussion in sport and stop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) before it occurs, by monitoring the hits in real time.

The neurodegenerative disease which can only be diagnosed after death is linked to memory loss, aggression, anxiety, depression and dementia, and in some tragic cases, suicide or death.

“The ultimate goal is that by understanding the dangers of repeated concussions, brainBand may help prevent life changing injuries at every level of the game, and protect the next generation of players,” said Dr Pearce.

In the prototype, a specially designed headband houses sensors at the back of the head that measure the force of an impact. This information would then be relayed via an app to medics, referees and coaches, using Samsung devices.

A series of LED lights embedded in the headband indicate the level of impact of a hit: yellow, orange and red for high alert, meaning a player should be taken off the field for assessment.

All impact data will be recorded and logged so that, over time, players could obtain a more complete picture of the forces their brain has been put under.

Samsung has given an additional grant to the two researchers who developed the wearable with the hope to commercialising it in the future.

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