Provo football team on cutting edge of concussion research

Thu, 01 December 2016 / Published in Featured Story

By Nick McGurk-ABC 4 News

November 29, 2016
Provo, UT

Provo High School's football team is soon to be on the cutting edge of concussion research.

Technology will line each player's helmet next season that senses impact -- and sends notification to a device that somebody holds on the sideline to monitor.

At the end of each day, the data will be sent to Provo-based Cognitive FX, a company that helps people recover from concussions. They work with the Department of Defense and NFL players, and soon they will be analyzing data from Provo High School's practices and games.

“They’re the only school in the state of Utah—high school or college—that has this technology," said Justin Heideman, whose son suffered a concussion during a Provo High football game a few weeks ago.

“He would not have suffered this concussion, if this system had been in place," said Heideman.

His son Brock suffered multiple hits during the game. None of them caused a concussion right away.

“The number of sub-concussive hits would have set off the key fob, alerted the trainer, they would have pulled him out," said Heideman.

"They would have seen his situation before the concussion occurred," added Heideman.

The impact-sensing liners, made by Riddell, will be in every player's helmet. But Heideman says the partnership with Cognitive FX is what is so exciting. That company will have an abundance of data--and players will have a real-time sense of whether they've suffered a dangerous hit.

"This is game changing. It’s probably the single biggest development for Utah football in the last 20 years," said Heideman.

Provo High School’s football team is partnering with both Cognitive FX and Riddell on what they admit is a very expensive program.

They say the money that isn't covered by the companies is coming from team boosters.