Fitguard Mouthpiece Combines Protection with Education
Put your mouthpiece in and listen up, FitGuard works to increase awareness of dangerous, long-term head injuries
Interesting fact about contact sports like football, boxing, lacrosse and mixed martial arts: as the protective gear has gotten more prevalent and technologically sound, incidence of serious head injuries have increased. Most experts chalk this up to the fact that contact athletes are aggressive. Better safety gear lets them hit each other harder…and the harder they hit ,the worse the head injuries get.
Athletes in the United States alone suffer a total of 3.8 sports-related concussions annually. Because of the ethos involved in most contact sports, the CDC estimates that 47% of those concussed to not report concussion symptoms. This puts them at risk for second-impact syndrome, a potentially fatal impact to an already injured brain, if they remain in play. This is a dangerous trend all to common even in youth sports.
Fitguard is working to change that with their new early-warning mouthpiece.
At the most basic level, FitGuard works like any other mouthpiece. It’s a piece of plastic an athlete puts in his mouth to reduce the severity of impact from a blow to the head. The difference is in the set of LED lights and accelerometer in the FitGuard’s chassis.
The LEDs light up in a three-color code according to the seriousness of any impact the wearer’s head receives. Fitguard recommends viewing this as a “check engine light” for the brain. Coaches and officials can check the light to know as early as possible when to pull an athlete from the field and when to check with a parent or medic.
FitGuard also connects to a smartphone app to track statistics and communicate instantly with anybody who needs to know about an injured player. The app also customizes reporting according to age, weight and gender to give the most accurate estimates possible.
The trend of serious brain injury even in youth sports has grown with each passing year. FitGuard may be the first safety equipment that actually reduces or reverses it.