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Jolt Sensor – A gadget to detect concussions in young athletes

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Seth Berg and Ben Harvatine have invented a wearable sensor that instantly alerts coaches and parents when a child receives a hard knock on the head that could cause serious injury.

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Jolt Sensor, as the two are MIT graduates refer to the gadget, was actually an engineering lab project at MIT. They got the idea after Harvaine suffered a concussion during his wrestling practice.

Doctors failed to detect his condition immediately and his condition became worse as his brain was exposed to additional impacts.

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Many other young athletes face similar challenges due to lack of adequate technology and medical personnel to identify and evaluate dangerous head impacts as soon as they occur. This is what drove the duo to develop Jolt Sensor.

“Through the ensuing hospital visits and months of recovery, the same thought kept crossing my mind – how could this have been prevented?” Harvatine said.

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Harvatine added that many athletes like him continue to play without realizing they have injuries, so there is need to have a way in which coaches, parent and even the atheletes themselves can be alerted of the dangerous impacts as soon as they occur.

The device is a small 1.37-inch smart wearable clip that attaches to any type of athletic headgear. It vibrates to warn an athlete if it detects that his/her head is accelerating in a dangerous way.

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The sensor uses Bluetooth technology to send an alert to an accompanying Android and iOS smartphone app help by the coach or the parent. It covers a radius of up to 50 meters meaning it can be used on the pitch or court.

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Jolt Sensor is waterproof and is protected by a soft silicon rubber. It has a micro-USB port and its battery lasts for several weeks on a single charge. The duo just launched the Kickstarter campaign and the gadget has already had 132 backers within 24 hours with a pledge of $11,840. Their target is $60,000.

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