Tech a testing ground for new technology
August 18, 2003

Starting this week, four Tech football players will be wearing a wireless system inside their helmets equipped with six sensors that fit into the top of the helmet. The system - called the Simbex Head Impact Telemetry System (HIT System) - uses sensors to monitor the impact on a player's head during a collision. This system also analyzes the frequency and severity of each impact and keeps a record to help in the evaluation and treatment of head injuries.

A lineman, a linebacker, a running back and a defensive back will wear the helmets, which cost roughly $2,000 a piece. The HIT system weighs 1-2 ounces and fits easily inside the helmets. It contacts the skull for accurate assessment of head accelerations. A laptop computer on the sideline records the data and trainers and physicians can make decisions based on the information. Players will be monitored during practices and games.

Virginia Tech and the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine are funding the project. The purpose of the project is to get a better clinical perspective on head injuries, finding out which football positions are most at risk and finding ways to both treat and prevent head injuries. In the future, this study will be applied to other sports.