The US Army has just begun to introduce helmet sensors with the goal of reducing traumatic brain injury (TBI), but already the National Football League (NFL) is working with the Army to equip their players’ helmets with a similar sensor array. On the battlefield, the goals are to collect data on concussive events experienced by soldiers, alert medical staff if potential injury-causing and then analyzing medical reports with the sensor data to determine the correlation between the two. For the NFL, concussive events occur on any given Sunday or Monday. Relatively young players have experienced the long term effects of poorly treated TBI. In this partnership, both the Army and NFL can teach each other. Tracking TBI – How The NFL Wants A Piece Of The Action (Armed with Science)
Addition 6 August: For our readers who do not follow American football, here is a pithy column detailing the (even in US) not well known pattern of head trauma in football called here chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), progressive damage to the brain associated with repeated blows to the head. The shocking fact is the life expectancy of an NFL player with five years and more in the game–less than 60 years. 3,000 plaintiffs are suing the NFL for not acting on knowledge of this hazard and others; perhaps the reason why the NFL is joining with the Army in this area. Respected American political columnist and occasional sports writer (mainly on baseball) George Will concludes that football can’t be fixed.