Smart Mouthguard Detects Impact of Football Injuries

Stanford University researchers have created a smart mouthguard that uses sensors to detect how dangerous football impacts can be.
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Stanford University researchers have created a smart mouthguard that uses sensors to detect how dangerous football impacts can be.
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Photo Credit: © Melinda Nagy - Fotolia.com

Football players are constantly getting injured, but they don't always necessarily know just how bad the impact was. A new smart mouthguard designed by bioengineers at Stanford University might help give players real-time reports on dangerous impacts. 

The mouthguards are currently being tested on Stanford's football players. Researchers are hoping that the devices will prove useful in the field to help prevent brain injuries to football players. They also hope the technology will be used to detect and prevent other brain injuries caused by trauma.

"Our football team has been extremely cooperative and interested in helping solve this problem," said David Camarillo, the project's lead. "Football players willingly put themselves at risk at a well-defined point and time in space for us to carry out our research in this 'lab.' What we are learning from them will help lead to technologies that will one day make bike riding and driving in your car safer too."

The smart mouthguards are equipped with sensors that are similar to those used in smartphones. The sensors work with accelerometers to send data about impacts to servers, which then extrapolate the information.

Researchers hope the technology will be used to detect and prevent other brain injuries caused by trauma.