Have a Concussion? There’s an App for That

If my best friend’s daughters weren’t finished with the high-level soccer they used to play, I’d know exactly what to get her for Christmas—the concussion app I saw yesterday here at the mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C.  The app, one of hundreds being demonstrated at the mobile health conference, is marketed by the psychological assessment company Par Inc. It is targeted toward parents and coaches of youth soccer teams who, it turns out, are often the “first responders” when a child is injured. They have to be: many youth teams do not have athletic trainers at the field.  Yet, between 100,000 and 140,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency departments each year for concussions, with an estimated 2.5 concussions occurring for every 10,000 athletic exposures in this age group. Today we know that concussions are far from benign. Indeed, left untreated, the child can suffer significant cognitive deficits. The app leads users through a series of prompts describing the child’s symptoms (what the parent/coach observes) and signs (what the child describes), runs the results through an evidence-based algorithm, then delivers a recommendation. In some cases, the message is “call 911!” and touching the “911” on the screen immediately connects you … Continue Reading