A flexible, self-powered sensor patch that can be used to estimate essential markers which lead to concussions has been developed.
Due to its inherent ability to convert mechanical input into electrical output as well as its flexibility and thickness, this device is a realistic and practical option for use as a wearable patch for athletes participating in high-contact sports.
This device can be relied upon over bulky accelerometers in helmets that are not directly attached to the athlete’s bodies, thereby giving off false readings most of the time. But the Sepulveda and colleagues’ patch adheres to the nape. Electrical pulses are sent to a computer upon detection of any kind of head and neck movement, which are used by researchers to assess sudden movements that can cause a concussion.
High-contact sports have always been a source of collisions and they have been studied for causing neuropsychological changes and neurodegenerative diseases, with one of its examples being Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This disease is a result of repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Brains with CTE gradually deteriorate and lose mass along with everyday skills and induce mental problems. A report in 2017 showed that 99% of National Football League (NFL) players in the study had CTE. These findings led to the development of this device.
The researchers are currently working on incorporating a wireless transmitter into the patch for an even more streamlined design