LANSING, Mich. — Every hit to the head matters in football or in any other rough sport. Even the smaller hits can be really detrimental to a young athlete's health over time.
FOX 47 News' Carla Bayron tells us how a new innovative product is stepping up the game to help players, parents and coaches.
High school athletes are highly vulnerable to concussions and fears of brain injuries linger in the back of parents minds.
"I brought it up to my wife and right away she was concerned about the contact, things like that. I mean, as a parent, I would feel concerned about their safety," said Greg Sanchez.
Akervall Technologies, a manufacturing company in Saline, recently launched the SISU Sense mouthguard, which has a microchip sensor built into it.
When a player is hit, the chip's design provides acceleration measurements for what the head has experienced to keep track of the force of hits to the head.
"It communicates via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone and it can tell you how many hits and what kind of level the head impact you've received," said Sassa Akervall, CEO of Akervall Technologies.
This product is different from other dental guards because it fits snuggly to the teeth to give you a more accurate reading. It also can be more accurate than an impact-reading helmet that moves around too much.
Akervall says the guard helps players, parents and coaches keep track of how many hits an athlete takes throughout a day, but it isn't meant to be a diagnostic tool.
"It's just giving you information, just like much like a Fitbit and any wearable technology nowadays gives you information," Akervall said. "I'm hoping that coaches see this as a positive thing, that they also will take responsibility for the athlete's health."
It's a tool that concerned parents like Sanchez can get behind.
"Anything to help prevent (brain injuries or concussions), I would definitely be on board with that," Sanchez said.
The SISU Sense mouthguards and app will be available sometime in the beginning of February.
For information on where you can buy one, visit sisuguard.com/mouthguards[sisuguard.com].
They come with a $99 price tag and might be in stores later on.