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UA-Built Concussion App in NCAA Competition

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Using Google to diagnose concussion
UA linebacker Jason Sweet uses an iPhone and Google Cardboard to play BrainGainz. (Photo: Emily Litvack/UA Office for Research & Discovery)

UA-Built Concussion App in NCAA Competition

Feb. 1, 2016
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Sports-related concussions are now part of the national conversation, and a team of UA researchers — including football players Jason Sweet and Scooby Wright — is teaching athletes to recognize and report the signs.

Despite new concussion-management protocols in the NCAA and NFL, many athletes still don't recognize concussion symptoms or won't report them if they do.

The University of Arizona creators of BrainGainz, a virtual-reality app that allows users to experience the symptoms of concussion, hope to change that.

Ricardo Valerdi, associate professor of systems engineering at the UA, was joined by Hirsch Handmaker and Jonathan Lifshitz at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix in developing the app for the NCAA's Mind Matters Challenge, part of a $30 million joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Defense to educate athletes and soldiers on concussion.