NFL Athlete App Monitors Health Concerns

NFL Athlete App Monitors Health Concerns

A way for athletes to check their health and avoid CTE

Rob Quick
  • 31 march 2016

Mental health has generally been ignored in the world of professional sports. Chronic trauma encephalopathy, or CTE, is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated brain trauma that seems to be only discussed in the wake of tragedy. But an increasing number of young athletes being diagnosed with the condition is causing a surge of concern. Last year the film Concussion brought the issue to the big screen, and now a new app hopes to bring awareness to a smaller screen. A team of scientists from Harvard University recently developed TeamStudy, an app that easily and efficiently monitors changes in an athlete’s body.

TeamStudyApp Football Players Health Study
The developers hope that the app will record changes in the athlete’s pain tolerance, memory and mobility. Users only need to spend 20 minutes a week with the app, answering simple questions and performing activities that help it record patterns and understand how the player’s body works. Additionally, it will also gather sensory data from the user’s smartphone. Using this information, it will note any changes in health and how they can be treated.


Part of the Football Players Health Study at Harvard, an intensive study on the cognitive health of former NFL players, this initiative aims to help improve health conditions that have been neglected in professional sports for too long. Researchers are also encouraging non-athletes to enter their information in order to gather more information for comparison. It also offers complete confidentiality for every user.

Designed using ResearchKit, Apple’s open-source software development tool for medical research, TeamStudy is a practical effort that allows players to track their health and wellness swiftly and independently. This powerful tool is an effective way to notice early health changes and has the potential to change the perspective on how we value professional athletes’ health.

Football Players Health Study

+athlete app
+Chronic trauma encephalopathy
+Football Players Health Study

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