Impact Applications partners with UK’s Football Association to improve brain injury testing

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Impact Applications has agreed a new partnership with the UK’s Football Association (FA) to enhance the brain injury testing procedures for the football governing body.

Using Impact and Impact Pediatric, the FA will now be able to conduct baseline and post-injury neurocognitive testing using as part of their larger concussion management protocols to help well-trained medical personnel make objective decisions to ascertain when footballers can return to play.

The FA’s Concussion Guidelines are based on the motto, “If in doubt, sit them out.” They mandate that footballers who sustain a suspected concussion during training or a game should immediately be removed from the pitch and evaluated by a medical provider.

Charlotte Cowie, head of Performance Medicine at the FA, says, “In our efforts to develop the highest standards of player health and safety, the FA is pleased to put Impact Applications’ software in place for its England’s men’s and women’s national teams.

“This will allow for serial monitoring of neurocognitive function and provide an objective assessment tool in the management of recovery from concussion. We are grateful to Impact Applications for its ongoing support in helping us to implement the system.”

The FA began baseline testing of its women’s national teams in August and the men’s teams in September.

Impact have also agreed a partnership with IFFDC, the International Football & Futsal Development Campus, a football and futsal education provider focused on developing youth and professional football players.

Similarly, the IFFDC will use Impact and Impact Pediatric to explore the issue of head injuries in football and collect research to enhance its concussion protocol as the organisation continues to devote the time needed to each individual player.

The IFFDC works with 1.2 million youth and professional footballers globally ranging in age from seven to 30 years, and started phasing in 200,000 Impact and Impact Pediatric baseline tests in fall 2016.

“Our instructors are with these athletes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and player safety is crucial,” notes Gary Sloane, director of football operations at IFFDC.

“In football, players used to treat possible head injury more lightly. Now, it is viewed differently, and the IFFDC is keen on raising awareness around concussions. We wanted to work with the best partner who would take us in the right direction in planning our concussion management protocol.”