SEATTLE, WA (January 11, 2012) – Most parents and coaches know concussions are a serious health concern in youth sports. Stories of players suffering traumatic injuries after returning to play with undiagnosed head trauma are sadly not uncommon. Many groups are working hard to raise awareness on the issue, and most states have passed laws mandating concussion education for players and families.
Korrio (korrio.com), developer of the 21st-century sports automation platform Playflow®, is proud to announce it will integrate Axon Sports’ Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT) results into its personal player dashboards. Axon Sports’ product is an online cognitive test that provides a “before” snapshot of an athlete’s healthy brain activities including attention, processing speed, working memory, and learning for comparison to future results in the event of a head injury. Test results help healthcare providers manage return-to-play decisions, reducing a player’s risk of additional concussions before recovering from initial injuries. A pilot program utilizing Playflow’s integrated baseline cognitive testing will start in the upcoming spring soccer season. Participating teams include select teams from Seattle United, Sudbury Youth Soccer and Massachusetts Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP).
Advancing safety in less than 10 minutes for less than $10 per child
The easy availability of an affordable online test is a real game changer in the world of youth sports and concussion management. Previously, health-conscious families took children to clinics and doctors’ offices for baseline cognitive testing, and results remained with the child’s medical records. Now, for the first time, families can be proactive in a best-practice concussion management program by administering baseline tests to children in the privacy of their own homes and enjoying mobile, password-protected access to test results at any time. The athlete essentially takes a “snapshot” of his or her brain’s speed and accuracy to establish a baseline measurement for future comparison. Families can quickly and conveniently share Axon Sports’ baseline test results with coaches, doctors and trainers in the event of an injury.
Doug Andreassen, President of Washington Youth Soccer, is a longtime proponent of concussion education and management in youth sports; he says he gets many questions from families committed to learning more about how to best manage players’ head injuries. “Remember, this is a private test with secure results that can be taken at home,” Andreassen emphasized. “Results are only accessible to coaches and healthcare providers if families share them. Also, this test is not diagnostic and cannot be taken on the sidelines, but comparing before and after results – baseline vs. after-injury – will help healthcare providers assess the seriousness of an injury. Korrio and Axon Sports are providing a very valuable tool for families and athletes, and we would love to see clubs require the test during the registration process.”
Athlete-centric baseline testing for concussion management – the next crucial step for clubs and families
Playflow families, who use the online platform to manage all aspects of their sporting lives, are now able to better manage player injuries and can easily test children prior to beginning season play as part of the registration process. The families can then easily access test results online anytime, anywhere. As an option for clubs who plan to implement a concussion management program, Playflow can enforce mandatory requirement of all players to take the test prior to season start. The test is easy for kids to understand and fun to take, featuring playing cards which foster a game-like attitude and encourage a “best effort” baseline.
Korrio CEO Steve Goldman said his company is excited to integrate Axon Sports’ online test results into Playflow. The product fits Korrio’s vision of providing easy, integrated, safe and mobile solutions that make sports families’ lives easier and more enjoyable. “Once again, Korrio is changing the game for the benefit of youth and families,” Goldman said. “This is a significant step forward in an area we care deeply about – youth safety. Our research indicates significant concussion awareness in the youth soccer community, but families and organizations don’t know how to take the next step to ensure safety. Preseason baseline testing gives parents and coaches more peace of mind, knowing they are taking the needed steps to help protect their children’s health.”
Soccer clubs and families have never before had such easy and organized access to baseline cognitive testing. Making the test readily available to families and providing the clubs with the option of requiring the test to be taken as part of the registration process is a major breakthrough in the efforts to manage and treat concussions.
“We are excited to work together with Korrio to provide more families and players easy, affordable access to baseline cognitive testing,” Axon Sports President and CEO Polly James said. “We know that giving parents this option in such a convenient format – making it part of Playflow’s registration process – will lead to more awareness around the crucial health issue of concussions and allow more athletes to complete baseline testing that can help healthcare providers treat head injuries.”
Axon Sports’ concussion management baseline test will be fully integrated into Playflow by April 1; in the meantime, Korrio users can access the Axon Sports CCAT at axonsports.com. Korrio will introduce the product partnership at the NSCAA Convention (booth #501) on Jan. 11 – 15, 2012, at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.
About Axon Sports
Axon Sports, a subsidiary of CogState, provides the Axon Sports Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT) as well as educational resources on a wide range of topics surrounding its proper use within an overall concussion management program. Together with athletes, parents, coaches, athletic trainers and doctors, Axon Sports is on a mission to protect and train the athletic brain. To learn more or preview a sample test, visit axonsports.com/demotest.