• FOX23 Investigates: Helmet sensor helps concussion research

    By: Caitlin Huggins

    Updated:

    TULSA, Okla. - Quick Facts:

    • High-tech helmets help researchers and coaches track plays that could cause head hits. 
    • The research is looking at hits that may not cause concussions, but could still lead to CTE.
    • FOX23's Jeff Kolb talked to researchers and coaches about the helmets and the data being gathered.
    • WATCH his full report attached. 
    • OR Stream on your streaming devices.

    A high-tech helmet is helping some schools track football plays that could lead to concussions.

    Some Green Country schools used the helmets to help researchers learn more about head injuries and plays that could cause football players problems.

    The University of Tulsa and Union High School football teams both used the Riddell helmet sensor system, Insite, as part of research studies.

    Riddell created Insite in 2013. There are five sensors in each helmet that report different head impacts to a handheld device.

    The helmet measures low, medium and high severity impacts, which are measured differently depending on player positions.

    Union Public Schools invested in 55 helmets with Insite, each helmet costs around $400.

    The Union Public School head athletic trainer talked to FOX23 about their typical concussion protocol:

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    Researchers are working with Union to use data from the helmets for a research study. A similar study took place at TU last season.

    Both studies focus on sub-concussive hits, those are hits that don’t cause a concussion but could be detrimental over time. Other research shows players could develop CTE without getting a concussion.

    READ MORE: What is CTE?

    TU football coach Philip Montgomery told FOX23 he changed some practice drills after data from the helmets showed a higher number of head impacts in certain drills. The grant that provided helmets for TU ended and the school no longer uses them.

    Riddell told FOX23 there are over 1,000 high school and college football programs nationwide using the helmets.

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