Univ. of Washington football joins NFL study using high-tech mouthguard to measure head impacts

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Mouth guards were fitted with sensors to get information about the impacts on players’ heads. (NFL Photo via UW)

The University of Washington is joining three other research universities as part of a National Football League program designed to help collect and inform data for the prevention of head injuries in the game of football.

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UW players will have the opportunity to wear custom-fitted mouthguards with sensors. Players from the universities of Alabama, North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wisconsin are also participating.

Sensors collect kinetic data including impact speed, direction, force, location and severity according to NFL Announcement on Tuesday. The league uses the data to work toward injury reduction and overall head impacts. Some information informs the progress of rules changes or improved performing equipment, such as condition-specific helmets.


“We are delighted to be part of this collaborative player-safety initiative,” said Dr. kimberly harmone, professor of family medicine and orthopedics and sports medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “I look forward to collecting data that ultimately improves our ability to protect football players from head trauma at all levels – youth, high school, college and professional.”

NFL Launches Mouthguard Sensor Program in 2019 as part of league’s $60 million commitment engineering roadmap To promote health and safety initiatives. Mouthguards are currently used by players at 10 NFL clubs and the partnership with four universities is expected to expand to additional universities in the future.

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This isn’t the first time Huskies have turned to mouth guards to measure head impacts. In 2016, UW helped test a device manufactured by Kirkland, Wash.-based i1 Biometrics

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