Allegheny Health Network announced today that it will be the sole provider of new technology to help evaluate and manage concussions in 29 counties in Western Pennsylvania.
The C3 Logix system, the health system says, assesses symptoms of mild-traumatic brain injury by gauging balance, reaction time, memory and processing time, motor function and vision through a unique iPad application that can be strapped to a patient's back and collects gyroscopic and motion data.
At a news conference at Highmark Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds professional soccer team, health system officials said the system is used by more than 50 schools in northeastern Ohio to assess 7,000 athletes in the past year as well as at Robert Morris University and by the Riverhounds. The diagnostic system would be expanded initially to the 16 school districts that receive athletic training services through Allegheny Sports Medicine.
Mobile technology for managing concussions
Allegheny Health Network will be the sole provider of C3 Logix testing capabilities. The tool features a new battery of tests that measure motor skills and balance through a unique iPad application.
"I think this is going to be a little piece to a bigger puzzle and it's going to make us able to manage these concussions a lot more effectively, a lot safer, and a lot of people will get back to playing in a manner that's better in the long run for their health," said Dr. Edward Snell , team physician for the Pittsburgh Pirates and director of Allegheny General Hospital's Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship and Sports Concussion Clinic.
The data collected after a potential head injury will be compared with baseline readings previously collected from players to give trainers, doctors and athletes more streamlined and uniform information that will be uploaded to a Cloud system to help treat and manage the injury, officials said. The health system said in a news release that its trainers began baseline testing with the system this month.
Craig Castor, a licensed athletic trainer and a sports medicine manager for the network, said the system can be used on the sidelines immediately after an injury.
"We're going to use this to initiate data collection," Mr. Castor said, adding that most concussion tests focus only on cognitive abilities.
Dr. Snell said concussion diagnosis remains "somewhat subjective" and, while concussion treatment has not changed much, "the management has changed tremendously."
"Each concussion is individual," he said, adding that symptoms and lingering effects can vary from person to person, making individualized data collected on the sidelines helpful. "I can't just rubber stamp you."