SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Glenn Rossman, Cynthia Dunlop

News Feed Item

HeadSmart Labs Pilot Study Suggests Potential Safety Risk with Football Helmet Inflation

Air Leak Issue in Helmets Could Increase Player's Risk of Sustaining Head or Neck Injuries

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- HeadSmart™Labs, a Healy Ventures LLC company, today announced preliminary findings from its pilot study on football helmet inflation. The study indicated a widespread air leak issue where Riddell brand air-bladder equipped helmets were unable to sustain inflated air pressure which could potentially pose an increased risk of concussion to athletes who wear the helmets while participating in football.

HeadSmart Labs was founded to develop new approaches, testing devices, and products that will aid in the prevention of head and neck injuries sustained by athletes who wear helmets during collision sports like American football.

In the course of conducting testing to determine the optimum air pressure for inflation of air bladders in football helmets to best reduce the transfer of impacts through the helmet, it was discovered that a significant number of helmets were unable to sustain inflated air pressure. The cause of the loss in air pressure was mainly attributed to leaky air valves on the helmets. HeadSmart Labs employed a standard, simple test to determine the source of an air leak: a mild solution of dishwashing liquid soap and water sprayed on the valves shortly after inflating the helmet to detect if air bubbles formed on the inflation valve.

"We have tested over 100 air-bladder equipped football helmets from Rawlings, Riddell, and Schutt at the collegiate and high school level, which included recently reconditioned as well as brand new, never worn helmets," said Thomas Healy, founder of HeadSmart Labs, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Mechanical Engineering graduate student, and NCAA student-athlete playing for the CMU Tartans football team. "We were alarmed to see that when a helmet failed to hold air pressure, in most instances it was directly caused by the valves on the helmet leaking. After several minutes or hours, many helmets had lost significant amounts of air."

During testing, helmets were initially inflated and then set aside to allow the air bladders to expand and equalize for at least 10 minutes. The lab then inflated all of the air bladders to 5PSI. From there researchers let the helmets sit for at least 30 minutes before rechecking the air pressure to determine the inflation level of each of the helmet's pads.

HeadSmart Labs found that over half of the Riddell brand helmets tested began leaking air at a significant rate once they were inflated, while only a limited number of Schutt and Rawlings helmets experienced air leak issues.

"This is extremely concerning. We had hoped to conduct further testing but we have found that teams are no longer willing to let us test their helmets because if we find that their helmets have an issue, they do not have an effective way to fix them," said Healy.

HeadSmart Labs was initially conducting testing on helmets to determine how inflation affects the dampening of impacts in helmets.  From this they found that helmet inflation alone can reduce the transfer of impacts through the helmet to the head by up to 30 percent.

"By using National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) style testing, we have seen that by simply inflating the helmet, we can significantly lessen impacts to the head," Healy said. "Many football helmets worn by players today, from Pop Warner to the NFL, are already air-bladder equipped but the technology needs to work correctly and be utilized to be effective."

Regardless of helmet brand, Healy recommends either players, parents and/or coaches check the air pressure in helmets each time it is being used. To help identify if inflation valves are the source of leaks, HeadSmart Labs suggests:

  • Place helmet on player's head and inflate it per manufacturer's suggestions.
  • Once inflated to a snug fit, and while on player's head, take a mixture of mild soap and water and drip some over each of the valves on the helmet. If the solution bubbles up then the valve is leaking air.
  • Helmets can also leak air though the air pads so it is important to monitor inflation pressures and make sure the helmet remains properly inflated.

If it is discovered that a player's helmet is unable to adequately maintain air pressure, HeadSmart Labs recommends the issue be brought to the attention of the helmet manufacturer, team equipment manager, and/or coaching staff for appropriate resolution. HeadSmart Labs has filed a report of the preliminary findings with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for further investigation.

HeadSmart Labs has developed the SMART Helmet Safety Checklist and suggests players follow it on a frequent basis, (download at www.HeadSmartLabs.com).  

HeadSmart Labs is participating in NineSigma's GE NFL Head Health Grand Challenge, a $10M program seeking solutions that produce advancements in preventing, measuring and detecting brain injury, innovative brain protective materials and devices, and training methods that result in behavior modifications.

About HeadSmart™ Labs, a Healy Ventures LLC company 
HeadSmart™ Labs is a research company founded by Thomas Healy to develop new approaches, testing devices, and products to aid in the prevention of head injuries from impact sports where helmets are required. HeadSmart Labs is currently working with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, and student athletes from Carnegie Mellon's football team, to develop these products. www.HeadSmartLabs.com

Media Contact:
Matt McCarthy
Warner Communications
617-302-5669; [email protected]  

SOURCE HeadSmart Labs

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@CloudExpo Stories
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
Cloudwick, the leading big data DevOps service and solution provider to the Fortune 1000, announced Big Loop, its multi-vendor operations platform. Cloudwick Big Loop creates greater collaboration between Fortune 1000 IT staff, developers and their database management systems as well as big data vendors. This allows customers to comprehensively manage and oversee their entire infrastructure, which leads to more successful production cluster operations, and scale-out. Cloudwick Big Loop supports ...
To manage complex web services with lots of calls to the cloud, many businesses have invested in Application Performance Management (APM) and Network Performance Management (NPM) tools. Together APM and NPM tools are essential aids in improving a business’s infrastructure required to support an effective web experience… but they are missing a critical component – Internet visibility. Internet connectivity has always played a role in customer access to web presence, but in the past few years use...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation...
What are the benefits of using an enterprise-grade orchestration platform? In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Tegethoff, CEO of Appcore, and Kedar Poduri, Senior Director of Product Management at Citrix Systems, will take a closer look at the architectural design factors needed to support diverse workloads and how to run these workloads efficiently as a service provider. They will also discuss how to deploy private cloud environments in 15 minutes or less.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Bitium was founded by Kriz and Erik Gustavson. The 1,500 cloud-based application using Bitium’s analytics, app management, and single sign-on services include bug trackers, customer service dashboards, Google Apps, and social networks. The firm states website administrators can do multiple tasks online without revealing passwords. Bitium’s advisors include Microsoft’s former CMO and the former senior vice president of strategy, the founder and CEO of Li...