Thursday, May 24, 2012

#MEMS "High-G Accelerometer Detects Concussions"

Concussions are a silent epidemic in the U.S. because most of the time they go undiagnosed until the brain has swollen enough to cause symptoms indicating that the damage has already been done. However, by putting a tiny high-G MEMS accelerometer in an ear-plug, any athlete can now monitor whether they received a concussion and get preventative medical help to stop the brain swelling before any damage is done: R. Colin Johnson

IndyCar drivers use these ear-buds to measure head trauma during crashes, each of which has three single axis accelerometers inside. By switching to ADI's new single-chip high-G accelerometer, the next-generation will be three-times smaller, looking more like ordinary ear-plugs. IndyCar's will still have a cord, because the also have a speaker for the radio to the pits, but for NFL and other athletes, instead of a cord, they will just have a red light which illuminates whenever the athlete has received a head shock strong enough to cause a concussion.

Here is what EETimes says about preventing concussions with MEMS: Sports-related concussions have skyrocketed in the U.S. with over 3.8 million reported each year. New MEMS sensors small enough to be mounted inside an athlete's helmet, for example, could perform early detection of symptoms, giving doctors time to administer preventative therapies.

Using high-G sensors for early detection of concussions could drastically reduce injuries, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, since most injuries occur because treatment is delayed. More than 75 percent of concussions go undiagnosed, eventually contributing to over 30 percent of head trauma deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early detection also could cut medical bills and lost productivity, which is estimated to exceed $76 billion annually.
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