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Carolina Tar Heels uses high-tech mouthguards to study player safety




(Chapel Hill, North Carolina, November 23, 2021) The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has partnered with the National Football League to measure head impact in the field using high-tech mouse guards. The NFL today announced a pilot program that includes four research universities.

Tar Heels wears a smart mouthguard throughout the 2021 football season and is currently used by players from 10 NFL clubs, the University of Alabama, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Washington.

For each tackle and hit, a series of small sensors attached to a customized mouthguard record kinematic data such as impact velocity, direction, force, location and severity. The data collected informs professional and university level injury mitigation efforts.

The University of North Carolina has always been at the forefront of research in many areas, especially player safety, said McBrown, head football coach at UNC Chapel Hill.

The program is overseen by Jennifer Langton of the NFL, Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Innovation. At UNC Chapel Hill, Dr. Jason Miharik, co-director of the Matthew Feller Center at the UNC University of Arts and Sciences and national leader in sports-related concussion research, will take the lead.

Each university receives a team-specific analysis to inform them of their unique efforts to improve the health and safety of their players.

According to Brown, sports medicine and human performance staff are pleased to continue their national leadership in this area in partnership with Dr. Jason Miharik of the Matthew Feller Center and his research team. increase.

Player safety is important to the health of our game, so we were happy to do whatever we could to help collect research that could make the game safer, continued the coach. I did. We are proud to be able to attend these other prestigious universities and hope that this program will continue to impact injury prevention.

The data collected will be anonymized and analyzed by Biocore’s NFL-NFLPA independent engineering experts.

This information informs the NFL’s approach to injury mitigation and safety, prioritized by rule changes and continued advances in higher performance equipment such as position-specific helmets.

Dr. Allensils, Chief Medical Officer of the NFL, said sophisticated and concrete data collection is central to our work to find better ways to investigate, diagnose, understand and prevent injuries. I am. We will establish this partnership not only with nationally recognized university football programs that have a direct pipeline to the NFL, but also with acclaimed research universities to analyze, draw conclusions and make the game safer.

The Mouthguard Sensor Program was launched in 2019 as part of the NFL’s $ 60 million commitment to the Engineering Roadmap to promote health and safety initiatives. The partnership with these four universities is an extension of the NFL’s broader approach to driving sports innovation and is the first in a program that the league expects to expand to additional universities in the coming months and years. It’s a phase.

The NFL is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards for such scientific research. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) of each participating university reviewed and approved the terms of this study.




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