Advanced technology from global semiconductor leader ST Microelectronics is playing a key role in the innovative electronic head-impact monitoring patches developed by X2 Biosystems to keep athletes safe.
The electronic head-impact monitoring patches, known as xPatches also achieved a unique milestone with the shipping of the 5000th sensor system.
The X2 xPatch uses miniature sensors to monitor the impacts experienced by each player on the field and transmit data to X2’s ICE software for analysis by support staff in the context of the individual athlete’s recent impact history and lifetime concussion history.
X2 Biosystems worked with ST Microelectronics to build the wearable xPatches. Smaller than an American quarter, they incorporate ST’s tiny MEMS motion-sensing chips, ultra-low power STM32L microcontroller, SPIRIT1 low-power radio transmitter, and miniature power supply and battery-charging ICs.
The X2 Biosystems’ Integrated Concussion Exam (ICE) software has been adopted by a broader audience including the NFL (National Football League), which has mandated the use of the X2 ICE in all practices and games of all 32 teams this season. A cloud-connected mobile application environment, the X2 ICE captures athlete concussion history and pre-season neuro-cognitive function, balance, and coordinate-performance data, which is then used as a baseline for comparison after a suspected injury event.
According to Christoph Mack, CEO of X2 Biosystems, the development of the xPatch would not have been possible without ST’s advanced technologies. The xPatch integrates all required functions for head-impact monitoring, analysis and wireless data transmission in a small, inconspicuous, comfortably wearable format. Small and lightweight, the xPatch can be attached easily and unobtrusively behind the player’s ear, allowing them to perform well, while playing safe.
Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, ST Microelectronics comments that their technologies including MEMS precision movement sensing and ultra-low power radio and ICs, have enabled the creation of the X2 xPatch system, augmenting sports bodies’ efforts to safeguard the wellbeing of participants.
ST’s ability to deliver the level of miniaturisation, integration and power efficiency allows X2 to apply its systems at the professional, university, high-school and youth levels in Football, Soccer, Hockey, Lacrosse, Boxing and Field Hockey. X2 and ST have captured and analysed over 600,000 head impact events since the launch of the product.
Medical professionals within sports, military and industrial safety areas believe that better management of concussions can help prevent serious brain injuries, which are associated with conditions such as dementia and depression later in life. Information provided by the X2 Concussion Management System helps to monitor impact events, promote adherence to the standard of care, coordinate the return to play process, and improve both acute and long-term brain health outcomes.