High-impact sports are a known, and common, source of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Rugby player and student at the Edinburgh Business School incubator with Heriot-Watt University, Euan Bowen, founded HIT Impact to combat this issue and develop a device that can track brain health.
Bowen founded HIT Impact after a close friend and teammate was injured. He drew the conclusion that there was a market gap for athletes to track brain health. Through the incubator he was able to form a team to develop a g-force detecting and impact recording universal clip for helmets and halo headbands.
HIT Impact works by creating a personalized baseline level of force for the user and tracking impact throughout playing time. If the baseline is met, the traffic light system acts as a warning through notifications to a companion app. The player can then be taken out of the game to be assessed before deciding to play again.
Bowen explains, “High impact sports are focusing increasingly on concussion mitigation with the field (Football's Influence on Lifelong Health and Dementia Risk) study recently finding that former professionals are three and a half times more likely to die of dementia than the general population.
HIT Impact’s goal is to provide a tool for tracking brain health and to aid in the decision-making process to help prevent further injury and prioritize safety to reduce long-term repercussions.
“The current parliamentary inquiry into concussion recently heard evidence about the long-term implications of repetitive head trauma on sports people with MPs asking how sports could be made safer. We believe this innovation could go a long way to aiding research and supporting more informed decisions about when to stop playing,” said Edinburgh Business School Incubator Manager, Kallum Russell.
HIT Impact’s companion app has a 150M range and includes a “Team Play” recording function. The app is also able to record for multiple devices, making it an ideal option for multiple different kinds of athletic events.
HIT Impact’s monitoring and recording technology will provide support to the developing research of traumatic brain injuries as researchers continue to seek opportunities to prioritize athlete safety. By utilizing HIT Impact, athletes and their teams can make more accurate and informed decisions about returning to the game once they have reached their baseline, in turn reducing the number of TBIs as this technology is adopted by many sports.