FITGuard Mouthpiece Detects Hits That Could Cause Concussions
A new mouthguard will soon be on the market and it’s one that parents and athletes alike will be biting on for a long time.
You see, Force Impact Technologies who are based out of Los Angeles, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, are set to launch FITGuard, a new mouthguard that alerts trainers and coaches on the sidelines of serious damaging hits that may cause concussions.
The device will soon be launched on the market for 2015 and it is equipped with sensors that monitor the brain. The mouthguard has LED lights that flash in three specific colors: green, blue, or red. The data of each hit is instantly displayed on a smartphone or tablet and easily documents and records hits for monitoring purposes.
Green indicates a low impact hit, blue a medium or somewhat serious hit, and red signifies a very severe hit. The device does not display any color if a hit is not of concern.
“We’re targeting youth athletes because research shows concussions and milt-trauma brain injuries are starting far earlier than people realize,” says Bob Merriman, co-founder and chief operating officer of FITGuard.
“Addressing concussions at the high school level or earlier is important, but we want to get in there and call them out even earlier,” he adds.
Anthony Gonzales, who is the executive director with FITGuard, indicates that concussions are “one of the most commonly reported injuries among 135 million participants in team sports, including the estimated 3.8 million sports-related concussions reported in the U.S. each year.”
“Many athletes return to the game without knowning they have an existing head injury and cause further damage,” says Gonzales. “With the launch of FITGuard, we hope to provide a full-service approach by detecting high-impact head injuries and pushing for further evaluation from a physician when necessary.”
The research that went into the development of this mouthguard was aided by leading pediatricians and orthodontists at the University of Southern California (USC).
“They advised us that a device that is affixed to the upper-rear molars has the highest correlation to the center of the brain,” says Merriam. “The front of the FITGuard is outfitted with technology which measures linear and angular acceleration as well as duration of the impact.”
The mouthguard, which will be sold for $129.00 (USD) will soon be available through sports leagues in the USA and online. The company is now planning its distribution strategy for early next year. The device also comes with a rechargeable case and is also water-proof and washable.