Wilmington-based tech company LifeGait Inc. has teamed up with Medac Health Services, which runs a network of local urgent care facilities, to keep youth athletes safe with the use of a concussion management system LifeGait has developed.
“We are very excited to have Medac on our team,” LifeGait President and CEO Chris Newton said.
The concussion management operating system, called SportGait, is “a highly reliable assessment combining neuro-motor and neuropsychological support for doctors.
When athletes go through the system, it provides a complete cognitive and neuro-motor examination,” Newton said.
Medac’s Shipyard Boulevard location is where athletes with suspected concussions can be treated with the SportGait concussion management operating system (CMOS).
“Since most team sports are played at times later than typical physicians’ offices are open, having the Sport- Gait system at our Medac Shipyard location provides significant convenience for the athlete and his or her family as that location is open until 11 every night,” Medac CEO J. Dale Key said.
If the physician wants the athlete to see a specialist, local pediatric neurologist Sasidharan Taravath has also incorporated the SportGait system into his practice, so he can provide continuous care and help guide decisions about when the patient can return to school and return to play.
“Having a system available to the health care provider that can add additional subjective data to the diagnosis and management of individuals who may have suffered a concussion is incredibly important,” Key said.
To ensure the most accurate understanding of the severity of a concussion, if one were to occur, Newton recommends that all student athletes complete a brain physical at the outset of a sports season.
The data provides medical professionals results tailored to the individual athlete and allows them to see what happens with the brain over time, especially if there are multiple sub-concussive hits.
“We have doctors working with protocols hoping to make Wilmington a center of excellence for concussion treatment,” Newton said.
If an athlete does not have a baseline brain physical on file, nominative data is used for all tests using a national average for age and gender, officials said.
SportGait’s app provides guidance for parents and coaches on the sidelines to track symptoms and direct athletes to the right location depending on the severity of the injury. It also works with the medical app during daily recovery. Its concussion test and tracker app is available for iOS and Android devices.
“Our goals are that two things should happen. The first is that if you suspect a brain injury, you receive the proper medical attention, and the second is that concussions are treated with the same rigor of any other sports injury,” Newton said.
A father of two youth athletes, Newton said his goals are both personal and professional.
“I am a strong believer in the benefits of sports: winning, losing and leadership,” he said. “These life lessons bring out the best in a child, and we just want to make it safer.”