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UW Health teams up with NFL to study head injuries through mouth guard sensors

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Mouth guard

MADISON (WKOW) — UW Health is teaming up with the NFL to study on-field head impact using high-tech mouth guard sensors. 

According to a press release from UW Health spokesperson Emily Kumlien, the sensors are collecting data while being used by the Badgers football team and will help inform the NFL's approach to injury reduction.

The sensors measure "kinematic details, such as impact speed, direction, force, location and severity of head impacts." 

“Reducing the risk of sport-related concussions is a priority for athletes, coaches, and health care providers alike,” said Daniel Cobian, assistant professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and co-principal investigator for the study. “The more we learn about sport-related concussions, the better we can protect our student-athletes from these injuries and maintain a desirable balance between the benefits of sport participation and the risk of injury.”

The data collected gets analyzed by the NFL Players Association’s independent engineering experts. UW researchers will also be given an analysis to help the UW football team's player safety. 

The mouth guard sensor program was launched in 2019 as a part of a $60 million commitment promoting health and safety initiatives. UW is one of four universities partnering with the NFL in the study. 

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