Concussion testing? There’s an app for that.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) is joining with other member leagues of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) in a new nationwide concussion testing and tracking system using a smartphone app.
The CJHL Concussion Program establishes a mandatory concussion protocol for all 133 teams in the league, putting in place guidelines for recognition, assessment and treatment of head injuries.
“It would be great if no-one suffered from a concussion, but that would be lying to ourselves,” SJHL President Bill Chow said.
“We have to try to be a little proactive.”
CJHL teams will all use HeadCheck Health software, which uses a mobile app to document suspected concussions, run on-the-spot tests for symptoms and to track a player’s concussion history.
“Should any player be traded from one league to another, their concussion history will follow them,” Chow explained.
He said the app could also be used to conduct concussion tests while a player is still on the bench.
The new program is being funded partially by the SJHL Player Assistance Fund, which was created in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy as a source to help athletes seek mental health help. Chow said the concussion protocol fits in with that mission, as head injuries can lead to mental illness.
“Improving concussion management standards … will allow us to ensure we’re doing what we think is our best today to take care of players’ mental health,” he said.
Additional funding for the protocol program and software is coming through a partnership with The Co-operators.
— With files from 650 CKOM’s Brent Bosker.