LifeGait’s newest enterprise, SportGait, is working to keep kids in the game while keeping them safe. The company is tackling the issue of concussions with the use of technology to aid parents, coaches, athletes and doctors.
SportGait has used big data and patented gait analysis technology to create health and safety devices for the mass market. Through SportsGait’s applications, coaches and parents can determine if an athlete’s head injury warrants a visit to the doctor or emergency room.
“Sports does more good than harm,” said Christopher Newton, company president and CEO. “So we want to measure if this is a problem we can fix, or at least manage it, and our technology allows us to do that.”
The SportsGait Concussion Management System centers on three products. SportsGait’s physician decision support tool uses its Biokinetographs (BKGs) to help diagnose concussion and recovery.
The Sideline Coaches app allows coaches to use it as a reference tool to determine the severity of a player’s injury. This team decision sport tool centers on BKG for sidelines. And the Parent/Athlete app is free to download to educate players about concussions and to direct them to a proper facility to be seen. It provides advice as well as a space to log injuries.
“One of the hardest things to understand is when are you recovered? When are you well enough to play again?” Newton said. “So our sensors and recovery technology help to determine when it is safe to return to play. The BKG is the backbone of our system.”
The company, incorporated in November 2015, is located in the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It has just three full-time employees, but has a team of 15 partners who serve as medical and micro-electronics advisers.
“It’s a great local story. We put together the best in the business, medical, and technology and all people from Wilmington. This is a local company solving a global epidemic. It’s really exciting,” Newton said.
Neurologists, orthopedists neuropsychologists – “a real cracker-jack team,” as Newton says, has been put together to mediate the crisis of head injuries in youth sports.
“Like when an athlete hurts his ankle, and you put ice on it until you assess the injury, the same thing should happen with a hit in the head,” Newton said. “Our app allows parents and coaches to determine the appropriate care or, if necessary, medical facility.”
According to Newton, the company is focusing on the 36 million American youth who play organized sports. The apps are free for parents and coaches to guide them to determine what the symptoms are and where to send the athlete within the medical system.
“It is a full concussion management system that can be used by everybody. We want to preserve the game while making it safer,” Newton said. ”Kids learn so much from sports, but we don’t want them where they can’t function later on in life.”
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