iPhone app tracks concussion recovery in athletes

A new iPhone app developed at the University of Michigan enables athletes with concussions to track their injuries, symptoms, activities, and then to share that information via e-mail with physicians, coaches and trainers. Described as the "first of its kind" app by the university, Return2Play is designed to help treat sports-related concussions by tracking the important details of recovery, resulting in better injury management.

Recovery from a concussion takes time varying by person and incident, and requiring a step-by-step gradual process. Throughout an athlete's recovery process, Return2Play allows users to e-mail a recovery progress history in chronological order to a physician, trainer or coach. Under a doctor's direction, users enter the date and details of their injuries into the app, as well as activities, symptoms and their severity. In addition, patients can enter appointment dates and take notes in the app.

"Return2Play was designed with the patient and healthcare team in mind. Our goal is to create a more efficient clinic appointment that leads to better management of the injury and safe return to play decisions," Amy Teddy, Injury Prevention Program Manager at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, said in a written statement. "This allows for a more streamlined, efficient clinic visit by eliminating the need for recollection of the injury details, signs and symptoms. It also provides a learning section that provides quick access to education and tips about concussion."

Developed by the University of Michigan's Pediatric Trauma Program in partnership with Michigan NeuroSport, funding for Return2Play was provided by the University of Michigan Health System Fostering Innovative Grants Program. The app requires iOS 4.3 or later, and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.

School-age athletes aren't the only benefiting from mobile technology when it comes to concussions. The National Football League has approved a new sideline replay system specifically for injury assessments, and more teams are using tablet computers for the same purpose. Sixteen NFL teams this season are using iPads to conduct concussion assessments, a number that is expected to grow to all 32 teams for the 2013 season.

For more information:
- here's the University of Michigan announcement