New Football Mouthpieces Measure How Hard Players Are Getting Their Bells Rung

Concussions are a huge concern in virtually every sport—baseball, hockey, even women's lacrosse—but none more so than in football. And while the NFL is taking steps to better protect players, there's still much the medical community doesn't understand about the injury. The X2 Impact mouthpiece aims to change that.

Functioning as a traditional mouthpiece but also outfitted with a gyroscope and accelerometer, these devices transmit data a stream of data back to the team's monitoring computer. By matching up the data received from the mouthpiece with video of the practice or game, researchers can see which hits impacted with the greatest force. The mouthpieces are also expected to provide superior accuracy over helmet-based systems that can shift around.

Stanford University's football team—the only college team in the country to do so—employs the mouthpieces, as do their women's lacrosse team. "Women's lacrosse is only second to football as the most common sport where concussions occur and it hasn't been closely studied," Dan Garza, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine and a medical doctor for the San Francisco 49ers, told TechNewsDaily. "We hope these tech tests will give us a lot more information about head injuries than we have right now." [Live Science]