Bearmind, an EPFL spin-off, has developed a smart helmet that provide a series of metrics enabling coaches to monitor the neurological effects of head impacts suffered by their players. The helmet is equipped with sensors connected to a smartphone app that gives players and coaches real-time information on the strength, frequency, and severity of head impacts.
Starting next season, the sensors will be integrated into the foam padding used inside helmets in order to serve as pressure detectors. Bearmind hopes to find additional investors for its first funding round, which had already reached CHF 1.3 million by early March. It hopes to supply its helmets to U.S. hockey players and to develop systems for other sports.
The technology employs algorithms that Falbriard developed at EPFL’s Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurement. They compile data from all players wearing the helmets, so that the impacts experienced by an athlete can also be compared with an average. With Bearmind’s system, coaches will know if they need to remove a player from a game, change the player’s training program, or take additional steps to prevent injury or improve performance.
Bearmind is currently testing a prototype helmet at Lausanne University Hospital to assess its potential as a medical device, through a clinical study funded by Innosuisse.