iPad Being Used to Diagnose Concussions in 2013 NFL Season

Injuries are unavoidable in the NFL. The team who usually emerges victorious is often the team who has the most talent still able to remain standing on two feet. Of all the injuries NFL players put themselves at risk against, none have generated more headlines than concussions over the last year.

Concussions fequently occur in the NFL, but often they go unreported. Players afraid of losing their starting position or simply not even knowing they’ve suffered a concussion will often continue playing when perhaps they should sit out for a game or two.

San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith ended up losing his starting position after telling his coach he was experiencing concussion like symptoms, and it led to his team replacing him for the entire season and perhaps trading him away in the off-season.

Other big headlines included depression, mental anguish, and even suicide of current and former NFL players whom many fear have suffered irreparable brain damage over the course of their careers.

In their efforts to make a safer game for players, the NFL has turned to Apple for help in diagnosing players who suffer head trauma. Using a new app developed for the iPad, team doctors can perform on-the-fly inspections of players to make sure they are fit for play or will have to be sent for further examinations back in the locker room.

Doctors showed how to use the app at the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis, where a large number of the best future rookies looking to enter the NFL draft show off their skills to the scouts. Indianapolis’ stadium was also the first to completely map itself on Google Maps Street View, possibly confirming the team to be the NFL’s “tech team.”

For players safety, a quick app is certainly not the answer, and I can more than guess that a few concussions will go un-diagnosed while using it. It’s still an interesting step in player safety for the league to take. Human error and doctor’s instincts must also be accountable though, so don’t expect all the talk on safety to just vanish now that Apple is involved.