23 Nov UW Teams Up With NFL on Research Designed to Reduce Head Injuries in Athletes
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health are partnering with the National Football League (NFL) to study how on-field head impacts can inform injury reduction efforts at the professional and collegiate levels.
Researchers will collect data from high-tech mouthguard sensors currently being used by the football team at University of Wisconsin–Madison that measure kinematic details, such as impact speed, direction, force, location and severity of head impacts. Insights gleaned from the data collected will help inform the NFL’s approach to injury reduction and decrease head impacts overall. Football players at the university have the opportunity to opt in to the NFL’s novel program.
“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.”
Data collected from athletes will be anonymized and analyzed by the NFL Players Association’s independent engineering experts and affiliated consultants. The program is overseen by NFL’s Jennifer Langton, senior vice president of Health and Safety Innovation. UW researchers will also be given a specific statistical analysis that can be used to help inform the UW football team’s efforts to advance player health and safety.