STMicroelectronics has announced that the recently-launched Brain Sentry Impact Sensor, a lightweight helmet-mounted impact-monitoring device, uses ST’s MEMS accelerometer to monitor head impacts that may cause concussions or other brain injuries.
The low-power, high-g tri-axial accelerometer has been integrated in the Brain Sentry Impact Sensor to accurately measure acceleration in all directions as a result of collisions. The data collected and reported by the Brain Sentry Impact Sensor allows coaches, trainers and doctors to monitor players after every hit, with the goal of identifying players who should be further evaluated and reducing the number of sports-related brain injuries.
“The risk of concussion increases as the acceleration experienced by an athlete’s head increases,” said Greg Merril, co-founder and CEO of Brain Sentry. “Our goal with the Brain Sentry Impact Sensor is to optimise the ability to predict injury, and the ST MEMS accelerometer’s high degree of accuracy is critical to the achievement of that goal.”
The small size of the ST MEMS accelerometer has enabled Brain Sentry to produce a light (1-oz) compact device that simply sticks to the back of any helmet. The accelerometer’s low power consumption with the sophisticated battery-life management system developed by Brain Sentry ensures the impact sensor can be used for a full year without charging. The device is also fully sealed and waterproof.
“The ability to quickly assess the impact of a hit or collision during a game or practice is important in order to ensure the safety of the athlete. Brain Sentry’s choice of our MEMS accelerometer demonstrates how effectively we have collaborated with them to track impact and report that data quickly and accurately,” explained Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group at STMicroelectronics. “The intelligence of the Brain Sentry Impact Sensor is based on over 10 years of research into the correlation of head acceleration and clinical findings of concussions and we are proud that our MEMS device has met the stringent requirements of the application that aids in the efforts to safeguard the well-being of athletes.”
Brain Sentry’s initial focus is to provide sensors for the three most popular helmeted contact sports: football, hockey and lacrosse. Brain Sentry is also developing sensors for biking, alpine, and other helmeted activities.