Athletic Trainers Take Note

There is no reliable device to diagnose concussion on the sidelines, despite extensive research.

This is the conclusion of the US Food and Drug administration (FDA), outlined in an April 10, 2019 warning letter to parents, coaches, and trainers. Devices currently in use or development include smartphone apps, portable devices that check eye movements and brain electrical activity, and even a sideline robot working with an offsite concussion expert.

The only approved device is the EyeBOX. This tracks eye movements but is intended to be used by a health care professional as part of a complete evaluation. There is also an approved blood test with a turn-around time of several hours, obviously impractical on the sidelines.

There is no single piece of information to diagnose concussion. Nothing can or will replace an abundance of caution.

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