The iPad has found its way onto the NFL sidelines.
During the league’s Sideline Concussion Protocol press conference Friday, it was announced that the NFL would use an iPad app to help doctors diagnose concussions. The software was developed by X2 Biosystems. Apple Insider reported that the use of apps on the iPad and iPad mini will begin next season.
Prior to the start of the season, and at different intervals throughout the season, the system will be used on players to perform a number of tests in order to establish a baseline score. In the event of a possible concussion, team doctors will use the app to evaluate players, and the app will compare their post-hit results against their established baselines. A large discrepancy could indicate that the player has suffered a concussion, and the protocols for such an injury would go into effect.
The Associated Press also reported that the move comes from a recommendation by the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee.
The questions and treatments will not change. But the app will create a scoring system to determine if there are large discrepancies between a player’s baseline score and his gameday score. If there is a large discrepancy, it would indicate the player has sustained a concussion.
Seahawks team doctor Stanley Herring, a committee member, says that while it will help diagnose head trauma, team doctors still need to trust their observations and instincts, too.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor