FITGuard is a new mouthguard that can increase early detection of head injuries resulting in concussion.
Force Impact Technologies has introduced the FITGuard, a new mouthguard that increases head injury awareness and early detection of impacts that may cause a concussion. It is the first mouthguard that can track the force of an impact as it occurs and instantly provide visual indication with colour-coded LEDs. The FITGuard uses a clinically proven system of measurements and multiple forms of acceleration to detect and provide accurate measurement of head injuries.
The position of the device allows it to monitor the centre of gravity of the brain and to document impacts in real time, using green, blue and red signals to indicate a low, medium or high force impact after each hit. The mouthguard sends the data to the FITGuard mobile app for analysis, allowing athletes to monitor incidents and self-report symptoms as they occur.
The FITGuard is a promising solution for millions of athletes engaging in sports with a significant risk of head injury. These include American football, soccer, basketball, equestrianism, martial arts, skiing, water skiing, rugby, rock climbing and water polo among others. The device allows coaches and parents to detect early indications of a concussion and prevent further damage by pulling athletes from the field for proper evaluation.
The FITGuard uses proprietary software that allows athletes to establish a threshold based on age, gender and weight, which means that each device is customised to the user. It provides instant data that helps coaches act right after an incident has occurred. The device itself doesn't indicate that an athlete has suffered a concussion, only that a hit was severe enough to warrant evaluation. If an athlete gets hit particularly hard, the FITGuard app prompts him/her to perform an Acute Concussion Evaluation (A.C.E.), which provides data that can help physicians make clinical diagnoses.
Force Impact Technologies specialises in integrating technology into sporting equipment to increase early detection of head injuries. Founded in 2013, the company is dedicated to improving safety in sports and promoting concussion awareness to young athletes around the world. Young athletes are particularly vulnerable to concussions as they typically don't have as many medical resources available to them as professional athletes do after an incident.
“Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries among the 135 million participants in team sports, including the estimated 3.8 million sports-related concussions reported in the U.S. each year,” said Anthony Gonzales, Executive Director at Force Impact Technologies. “Many athletes return to the game without knowing they have an existing head injury and cause further damage. With the launch of FITGuard, we hope to provide a full service approach by detecting high impact head injuries and pushing for further evaluation from a physician, when necessary.”
Force Impact Technologies has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the mouthguard on Indiegogo in October. If the funding goal is met by the end of November, the first batch of FITGuards will start shipping in September 2015.