An assessment of the utility and functionality of wearable head impact sensors in Australian Football.

Authors:
Andrew S McIntosh
Andrew S McIntosh
University of New South Wales
Australia
Catherine Willmott
Catherine Willmott
Monash University
Australia
Declan A Patton
Declan A Patton
University of New South Wales
Australia
Biswadev Mitra
Biswadev Mitra
The Alfred Hospital
Australia
James H Brennan
James H Brennan
The Alfred Hospital
Jeffrey V Rosenfeld
Jeffrey V Rosenfeld
Monash University
Australia

J Sci Med Sport 2019 Feb 28. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Department of Neurosurgery, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Surgery, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Objectives: To assess the utility and functionality of the X-Patch as a measurement tool to study head impact exposure in Australian Football. Accuracy, precision, reliability and validity were examined.

Designs: Laboratory tests and prospective observational study.

Methods: Laboratory tests on X-Patch were undertaken using an instrumented Hybrid III head and neck and linear impactor. Differences between X-Patch and reference data were analysed. Australian Football players wore the X-Patch devices and games were video-recorded. Video recordings were analysed qualitatively for head impact events and these were correlated with X-Patch head acceleration events. Wearability of the X-Patch was assessed using the Comfort Rating Scale for Wearable Computers.

Results: Laboratory head impacts, performed at multiple impact sites and velocities, identified significant correlations between headform-measured and device-measured kinematic parameters (p<0.05 for all). On average, the X-Patch-recorded peak linear acceleration (PLA) was 17% greater than the reference PLA, 28% less for peak rotational acceleration (PRA) and 101% greater for the Head Injury Criterion (HIC). For video analysis, 118 head acceleration events (HAE) were included with PLA ≥30g across 53 players. Video recordings of X-Patch-measured HAEs (PLA ≥30g) determined that 31.4% were direct head impacts, 9.3% were indirect impacts, 44.1% were unknown or unclear and 15.3% were neither direct nor indirect head impacts. The X-Patch system was deemed wearable by 95-100% of respondents.

Conclusions: This study reinforces evidence that use of the current X-Patch devices should be limited to research only and in conjunction with video analysis.

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Source
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S14402440183055
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2019.02.004DOI Listing
February 2019
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