Doctors surprise Apple developers with new use for iPad

How iPads can help discover concussions

Doctors surprise Apple developers with new use for iPad

How iPads can help discover concussions

CLEVELAND - An apple a day can keep the doctor away, but so can an Apple product. Doctors have come up with a way iPads can help discover concussions, which impact more than 150,000 student athletes every year.

Football is a sport where the hardest hits often get the loudest cheers. But these days, there’s less clapping and more concern.

“When you use the word concussion now most parents are devastated,” said Jason Cruickshank. 

Cruickshank, a certified athletic trainer, is on the front-lines at St. Ed’s High School, in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.

“Definitely see a lot more [concussions],” said Cruickshank.

That’s because new technology is uncovering concussions that in the past might have gone undiagnosed.

“It has multiple symptoms,” said Dr. Jay Alberts, Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center.

The symptoms are now easier to pinpoint with just the swipe of a finger.  An iPad app created at the Cleveland Clinic takes a once subjective diagnosis and puts some science behind it.

“They equipped us with this tool and then we found different uses for it,” said Alberts.

Inside every iPad 2 is a gyroscope and an accelerometer, which the app uses to test athletes in three main areas: balance, coordination and reaction time.

“It’s like doing a sobriety test,” said CCruickshank.  “Instant snapshot of where their brain is.”

A snapshot that's taken at the start of the season and then again post injury.

“If you got dizzy, saw stars, got your bell rung, you maybe got a drink of water,” said Todd McManamon..

That was how they did it when McManamon was a kid. His son Danny is a defensive end for St. Ed’s and he’s thankful times have changed.

“It’s very cutting edge technology,” said McManamon.

Technology that not only helps diagnose, but also treat and determine when it’s safe for an athlete to return to the game.

“It really makes a big difference.  Really makes me feel more comfortable,” said Cruickshank.

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