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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

Adam Bartsch: MEMS-powered mouthguard gathers concussion data from athletes

The "Intelligent Mouthguard" head impact dosimeter provides valuable information to help detect brain injuries.

8 July 2013, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201307.01

Adam Bartsch, director of the Head, Neck, & Spine Research Laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic (USA), is a traumatic neuromechanics engineer specializing in the study of head, neck and spine injuries caused by trauma or force.

As a graduate student in 2001, he became involved in Department of Transportation-sponsored projects to protect occupants in motor vehicle crashes, studying mechanisms by which people sustain injury and how to design countermeasures to reduce injury risk. He now oversees research projects that aim to reduce the risk of concussion, neck injury and spine injury for children participating in contact sports.

Bartsch is co-inventor of the Intelligent Mouthguard, a wireless MEMS-based device that measures in-game head impact dynamics for contact sports. The Intelligent Mouthguard contains MEMS linear and angular sensors and uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly transmit data on head orientation, position, velocity and acceleration of the impact. This data is used to measure real-time and post-competition neurologic outcomes and assist with the rapid diagnosis of injury.

This device can also supply statistics to assist in the design of safer helmets and equipment in order to decrease the number of traumatic brain injuries in athletes of all ages.