Monitoring Impact Levels in Sports

The Problem

Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), is a very serious topic in the world of sports today. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 4 million MTBIs are reported each year due to impacts in sports and recreational activities. In 2013, the NFL, NBA, and NHL have all led the news cycle with concussion-related issues. In the last three years, dozens of youth concussion clinics have opened in nearly 35 states in response to parents’ concerns about their young athletes.

Despite all this focus, there is still a lot to discover about MTBI’s. “It is inexact, a science in its infancy,” Dr. Michael O’Brien of the sports concussion clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital told the New York Times in May 2013. “We know much more than we once did, but there are lots of layers we still need to figure out.”

In the past, one of the largest challenges to fully understand MTBI’s has been the ability to collect data about the severity and frequency of sustained impacts. How can neurologists, coaches or parents know when an impact is going to be a critical event if they don’t know how severe it is or how often other impacts have been sustained.

The Solution

In order to help solve this challenge, Avnet Electronics Marketing customer Sensuss creates products that use a combination of advanced sensors, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and cloud based computing to collect data to answer exactly this question. With Avnet’s guidance on supplier identification, inventory management for global production and field application engineer (FAE) support, Sensuss has brought two successful products to market.

The Sensuss S2 is a small, translucent helmet-based device with LEDs that light up when an athlete experiences a pre-defined level of impact; immediately sending an alert that a critical event may have occurred. The Sensuss S3 uses cloud-based computing with machine-to-machine (M2M) technology to collect both the degree and the history of impacts that an individual user might experience. If a user wearing the S3 helmet- or glove-based sensor experiences an impact, the S3 will measure this impact and then use M2M technology to transmit it through the cloud to a database. Given the level of impact, the database will be programmed to email, text or send a phone alert to a coach, doctor, parent or other specified caregiver.

After thorough review of components available, Sensuss selected several key products from Avnet’s leading line card manufacturers. The helmet devices combine sensor technology from Analog Devices, NXP microcontrollers and the Eurotech Helios gateway and Everyware Cloud M2M technology. The Analog Devices accelerometers and surrounding precision circuitry with the NXP portfolio of processing and ZigBee® solutions provided perfect building blocks for the Sensuss design requirements.  When coupled with the Eurotech gateways utilizing state-of-the-ar

Intel hardware; software from Eurotech, Hitachi and Oracle; and the cellular services from Verizon Wireless, Senuss has the perfect overall solution from the sensors to the Everyware Cloud. The S3 supports 802.11 WiFi, cellular or ZigBee standards

The S3 device offers a wealth of options for interacting with mobile products, personal computers and servers using the best wireless solutions and software available in the marketplace and a one stop shop through Avnet.

Sensuss uses global manufacturing and distribution with the S2 and S3. They use Avnet for cost-effective inventory control and leading-edge supply-chain management.  Avnet’s ability to help Sensuss create supplier relationships and get materials on-demand anywhere in the world was a significant factor in getting the Sensuss products to market.

“Avnet has been, and continues to be, a loyal trusted partner in bringing these products to market,” said Jeff Lawson, CEO of Sensuss. “Avnet’s ability to provide components to any of several international manufacturing facilities, virtually on demand, has been a key enabler for us to ramp up our manufacturing. As Sensuss grows, our partnership with Avnet will be essential in receiving the supply chain support we need to quickly expand our products worldwide.”

In the past year, the Sensuss products have been widely recognized for their ability to collect data that can transform the paradigm for treatment of head-trauma. Sensuss has been a 2013 Laureate in IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program, a 2013 ConnectedWorld Value Chain award winner and won the silver level application award for Best of Sensors 2013 – in competition with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Corporation, NASA and other experienced developers.

Learn more about Sensuss and their defined protocol for protecting athletes at www.sensuss.com

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