SPORTsSAFER

RoweBots developed the first concussion monitoring system in 2016 after nine years of research.

we do it right

When Rowan’s Law passed in 2016, and concussions were in the news, RoweBots developed the first concussion monitoring system. Using the wireless gateway technology, RoweBots demonstrated a solution with a fixed model for identifying and monitoring athletes with concussion symptoms. Home Healthcare Systems was created to commercialize this technology including the wireless gateway.

SPORTsSAFER monitors athletes for both practice and competition, ensuring that potentially life threatening and serious injuries generate immediate real-time alerts. Medical staff can respond faster and more precisely having critical data as they provide initial triage leading to superior safety and protection of athletes.
SPORTsSAFER also helps improve performance and safety at practice by monitoring energy expended. Injuries occur more often when athletes are tired and by understanding an individual’s limits improved decisions and outcomes with fewer injuries are the result.

 

The system is focused on health and safety and as such monitors any significant blows to the head and vitial signs. With any deviation from the norm, alerts are raised to allow medical staff to respond quickly having a good idea what the issue might be. The rest of this section details the core features from a high level perspective. The main benefit of all this is, of course, that athletes have superior safety than they have had in the past when it comes to concussion, CTE or any issue with vital signs. By doing so, any liability the team or organization has is substantially reduced.

Health and Safety

  • monitors all vital signs: heart rate, temperature, blood pressure
  • monitors impacts to the head to detect concussion and CTE events
  • generates alarms if any monitored signal is out of range
  • includes settings to tailor responses to individuals
  • includes multiple configurations to be suitable for all sports
  • provides storage and retrieval of all athlete data using Privacy by Design rules
  • provides full history data to physicians in machine readable format or report
  • enforces organization defined medical protocols for safe play, practice and return to play
  • alerts may be provided to coaches and game officials to stop play

Performance

  • monitors energy expended
  • estimates how tired athletes are
  • supports identification of rested players for team success
  • tiny sensor size does not impact athletes practice or competition in any way
  • data may be easily exported to work with other sports team management software

Liability

  • litigation plays an important role in sports today
  • eliminate lawsuits before they happen with the best possible monitoring
  • densure players follow medical protocols during play, during practice and for return to play
  • optionally notifies parents and guardians of any adverse events
  • special roles to protect athlete’s privacy

System Features

This section provides a more operational view of how the system works. To have privacy we must have comprehensive security. To enforce privacy we must have multiple roles and selective display of information. To manage team sports and many players, administrative features are required and these are included as part of the core system.

Architecture

There is three different system architectures to deal with the requirements of different sports and training. Often training is done alone and requires a local gateway on a phone. For distance sports like marathons, long range low power radios are required and carrying a phone is not an option. For team sports like soccer or basketball, where play is confined to a small region, many players must be monitored simultaneously and phone connections are not an option. The three alternative architectures are shown below.
All data is saved in the cloud for all three architectures using the same system with the same features. This makes the use of different types of sensors possible for different sports with central storage and display of all results. Using this approach, users can train individually with their phone and a personal sensor, train with the basketball team using team sensors, and run a marathon using a long distance sensor with all the data centrally stored.

  1. Using a phone as a gateway to the cloud, and Bluetooth low energy or BLE, individuals can be monitored where ever they are as long as cell coverage is available complete with geo-location.
  2. Using low power LoRa and LoRaWAN, sensors can send alarms over long distances to a collection of gateways and on to the cloud. Geo-location is also possible.
  3. For team play on courts and fields, use of low power short range radios with a mesh network is an appropriate choice. In this case, 6loPAN is used with several gateways on the sidelines.

Security and Privacy

  • fully secure
  • Privacy by Design rules used throughout
  • multiple roles to limit data access to those approved for the data

Administration

  • medical protocol specification and enforcement
  • individual groups (schools for example), teams and organization (school boards for example) support
  • group administrators, and overall system administrators as separate roles
  • enrollment and deletion of individuals in roles
  • supported roles per group include: coach, director, medical staff, athlete, parent or guardian, official
  • linking and unlinking sensors to athletes
  • individuals with multiple roles
  • blocking disruptive parents
  • game setup with role linkages, for example, defining the staff and roles and players for each game
  • view of lineup for games and for teams depending on medical conditions

Play and Practice Features

  • logging of all data for each athlete for complete historical records
  • practice settings and game settings
  • stop play generated from sensors and cleared from the user interface
  • stop play generated from user interface and cleared from the user interface
  • indication of events to medical staff, coaches, officials, parents and guardians and athletes
  • stop play notifications to officials’ watches
  • practice or compete with phone gateway
  • team gym or field practice or games with indoor or outdoor gateway
  • sideline data and events on phones, tablets and notebooks
  • system and sensor test mode
  • export of safe to play eligible team members in CSV format to integrate with other sports packages

Specifications

Gateway Specifications

Individual Phone Gateway

  • Android XX and IOS YY and later support
  • Install application from PlayStore or ApplePlay
  • Connect sensor and connect to the cloud
  • View data, configure sensor and more from the cloud

 

Courtside and Field Gateway

  • 120V and 240V operation
  • 12 hour battery life for indoor and outdoor gateways
  • IP67 water and dust resistant
  • Internal antennas
  • WiFi, ethernet wireline, 3G or 4G cloud connections
  • USB configuration connection
  • simple gateway configuration with persistent parameters
  • power LED
  • status LED
  • on/off

 

Distance LoRa Gateway

  • 120V and 240V operation
  • 12 hour battery life for indoor and outdoor gateways
  • IP67 water and dust resistant
  • Internal antennas
  • WiFi, ethernet wireline, 3G or 4G cloud connections
  • USB configuration connection
  • simple gateway configuration with persistent parameters
  • power LED
  • status LED
  • on/off

Cloud Specifications

  • up to 5000 simultaneous users per organization
  • up to 50000 users per organization
  • all data instantly available until long term archive
  • import and export facilities for data using CSV format

Sensor Specifications

  • water and dust resistant (IP67)
  • Bluetooth and 802.15.4 sensor 19.5mm x 13mm x 5mm, 2.8gr
  • LoRa sensor 22mm x 14mm x 6mm, 2.9gr
  • all vital signs plus 100g 6 axis acceleration sensor
  • rechargable battery
  • on/off
  • charging pogo pins and charging clip
  • sync and statue LED
  • charging LED

Operational Details

Sensors

  • The head impact sensor uses a six axis accelerometer. It records both rotational acceleration (radians/sec**2) and linear acceleration (m/sec**2). The threshold is set to trigger with any significant hit – the level of which should be decided by the school board or team policy and medical staff. Alarms will generally mean that the individual is taken out of play and examined on the sidelines where medical staff make a decision about return to immediate play. Results are tracked along with different states in the medical return to play policy which is intended to restrict play time until it is safe to resume.
  • The heart rate sensor is optical. It provides data on the flow of blood beneath the skin which can be translated into a heart rate signal (don’t confuse this with an ecg).
  • Using the same sensor, pulse ox can also be estimated – or the amount of oxegen in the blood.
  • Temperature is measured with an IR sensor which only sees your skin.

Radios and Gateways

  • If there is a nearby phone, BLE is a good choice and the phone is the gateway. The limitation is that you have to carry a phone. This works well for practice and individual sports but not so well for team play or when a phone is seen as a heavy object to carry or when not everyone necessarily has a smart phone.
  • For team sports over limited distances, 802.15.4 radios with 6lowpan are a reasonable choice. The mesh network sends the data through a gateway to the cloud. In this case, the gateway receives the 802.15.4 signal and relays it to the cloud using wifi, 3g, 4g or wireline interfaces.
  • For distance running and bike races, LoRa is much better because it can cover large distances and will provide reasonable geolocation. The LoRa system is routed to LoRa repeaters which in turn provide a relay to LoRa gateways which send the signal to the cloud.

Cloud

  • The cloud is implemented with Microsoft Azure. It provides storage and access to data including all athlete history.

Users

  • Users have different roles and a system administrator creates their accounts. They access the system with a web browser. Roles include: coach, medical, athlete, parent or guardian, and administrator.
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