Rahul Soangra, Brent Harper
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that affect the function of the brain. One of the primary symptoms of a concussion is a lack of reaction time. The people that are most susceptible to concussions are athletes; Laker’s (2011) study found that 135,000 patients that suffer concussions from playing sports are expected to be hospitalized each year, with football making up 75% of concussions at high school and college levels. Honda et al. (2018) suggested reaction time as an important biomarker of concussion. Laboratory camera-based motion capture data, while reliable, is not a realistic tool to use outside of a laboratory and requires hardware that makes it impractical in non-laboratory settings. Accelerometers measure linear triaxial accelerations are wireless miniature MEMS devices and can be easily affixed on the hand. If accelerometers were proven to be as accurate as motion capture systems in obtaining reaction time, accelerometer-dependent devices, such as a drop stick, could serve as a reliable and portable tool to diagnose a concussion quickly and easily. Our study, which aims to compare the accuracy of laboratory motion capture to accelerometer data, uses a drop stick test, in which participants had an accelerometer strapped to their wrist and infrared markers placed on three bony landmarks of the hand, as well as on an accelerometer situated on the base of the drop stick. In multiple series of tests, participants stood on both solid ground and a foam pad to measure differences in reaction time. Analysis of data will compare the accuracy of accelerometers to motion capture. If proven accurate, this method of measuring reaction time should yield data that is just as reliable as laboratory camera-based motion capture, while simultaneously being more convenient to use as sideline assessment during play.
Hepp, Jacob; Rhodes, Warner; Walton, Jordan; Soangra, Rahul; and Harper, Brent, "Reliability of Accelerometer-Based Reaction Time Tests" (2022). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 543.