Introduction: Legislation mandating similar concussion prevention and management for youth football as provided at high school, college and professional levels is being proposed throughout the US. Ideally, this could include baseline neurocognitive testing, sensors for recording the location, number and magnitude of head hits and physician availability at all games and contact practices.
Methods: A recently validated pediatric neurocognitive test is now available for youth 5-12 years of age. A new football head sensor system is under trials to detect the number, location and magnitude of sports related head impacts and stores the information for ongoing dosimetry-like purposes. A new telemedicine system will soon be available in 11,000 Walgreen pharmacies and can provide virtual sideline physician assessment for youth football events anywhere in the country when needed for concussion evaluation and treatment recommendations.
Results: All three of these technological innovations have been assessed individually and recently as a part of a unified concussion management program. There applicability and utility, particularly for youth contact sports, will be presented and discussed. We believe this network can and will provide a new safety model for youth participating in contact sports and in particular, football.
Conclusions: By the conclusion of this session participants will be able to understand the utility of the new pediatric neurocognitive test, the value of head sensors to measure and store the biomechanical components of head hits and the unique opportunities for telemedicine in sports medicine, along with potential cost savings.
Patient Care: New technologies are being developed to both manage and assess concussion and head injury in sports. Neurosurgeons will need to be intimately involved in this process and provide direction and scientific leadership in this field.
Learning Objectives: 1. Learn about the latest technologies being introduced for concussion management in youth sports.
2. Understand the concepts of neurocognitive testing and head hit velocity measurements for the management of concussion.
3. Learn about the utility of remote sideline telemedicine access for acute concussion assessments in youth sports.
References: 1. Examination of the test-retest reliability of a computerized neurocognitive test battery. Nakayama Y, Covassin T, Schatz P, Nogle S, Kovan J. Am J Sports Med. 2014 Jun 6;42(8):2000-2005
3. Kutcher JS, McCrory P, Davis G, Ptito A, et al, What evidence exists for new strategies or technologies in the diagnosis of sports concussion and assessment of recovery? Br J Sports Med. 2013 Apr;47(5):299-303. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092257.
4. Concussion Telemedicine http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/concussion/multimedia/vid-20078289