Objectives: To assess the utility and functionality of the X-Patch® as a measurement tool to study head impact exposure in Australian Football. Accuracy, precision, reliability and validity were examined. Designs: Laboratory tests and prospective observational study. Methods: Laboratory tests on X-Patch® were undertaken using an instrumented Hybrid III head and neck and linear impactor. Differences between X-Patch® and reference data were analysed. Australian Football players wore the X-Patch® devices and games were video-recorded. Video recordings were analysed qualitatively for head impact events and these were correlated with X-Patch® head acceleration events. Wearability of the X-Patch® was assessed using the Comfort Rating Scale for Wearable Computers. Results: Laboratory head impacts, performed at multiple impact sites and velocities, identified significant correlations between headform-measured and device-measured kinematic parameters (p < 0.05 for all). On average, the X-Patch®-recorded peak linear acceleration (PLA) was 17% greater than the reference PLA, 28% less for peak rotational acceleration (PRA) and 101% greater for the Head Injury Criterion (HIC). For video analysis, 118 head acceleration events (HAE) were included with PLA ≥30 g across 53 players. Video recordings of X-Patch®-measured HAEs (PLA ≥30 g) determined that 31.4% were direct head impacts, 9.3% were indirect impacts, 44.1% were unknown or unclear and 15.3% were neither direct nor indirect head impacts. The X-Patch® system was deemed wearable by 95–100% of respondents. Conclusions: This study reinforces evidence that use of the current X-Patch® devices should be limited to research only and in conjunction with video analysis.
Background Concussion is common in the sporting arena and is often challenging to diagnose. The development of wearable head impact measurement systems has enabled measurement of head kinematics in contact sports. Objectives The objective of this systematic review was to determine the characteristics of head kinematics measured by an accelerometer system among male athletes diagnosed with concussion. Methods A systematic search was conducted in July 2015. Inclusion criteria were English-language studies published after 1990 with a study population of male athletes, in any sport, where objectively measured biomechanical forces were reported in the setting of a concussive event. The random effects meta-analysis model was used to combine estimates of biomechanical force measurements in concussed athletes. Results Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria, the majority of which were conducted with high school and college football teams in the US. Included studies measured a combination of linear and rotational acceleration. The meta-analysed mean peak linear head acceleration associated with a concussive episode was 98.68 g (95 % CI 82.36-115.00) and mean peak rotational head acceleration was 5776.60 rads/s 2 (95 % CI 4583.53-6969.67). The estimates of the biomechanical forces were consistent across studies, with I 2 values of 0 % for both metaanalyses. Conclusions Head impact monitoring through accelerometery has been shown to be useful with regard to characterising the kinematic load to the head associated with concussion. Future research with improved clinical outcome measures and head kinematic data may improve accuracy when evaluating concussion, and may assist with both interpretation of biomechanical data and the development and utilisation of implementation strategies for the technology.