Allegheny Health Network to use iPad app for concussion diagnosis
By Megan Harris
Published: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Allegheny Health Network announced on Friday that it plans to offer new software to help diagnose and treat potential concussions in athletes in 29 counties in Western Pennsylvania.
C3 Logix assesses symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury by gauging reaction time, memory, motor function, vision and balance through an iPad application. When the tablet is strapped to a healthy patient's back, the app collects data about posture and stability that can be compared to tests performed after a suspected concussion.
The Cleveland Clinic assessed 7,000 students from more than 50 schools in northeastern Ohio with the system. Trainers with Robert Morris University and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds pro soccer team are bringing it to their athletes this fall.
Guy Montecalvo, athletic director of Canon-McMillan School District, attended a demonstration of the software months ago. Canon-McMillan High School will be among the first five high schools to pilot C3 Logix at no cost this year. Allegheny Health Network plans to expand the system to all 14 school districts for which it provides athletic training before offering it across the region.
“When I started in 1980, you just didn't see that many concussions,” Montecalvo said. “Kids are stronger and faster, and they hit so much harder now. Years ago, we'd say, ‘Shake it off; get back in there.' We didn't know. That's something no one would be caught dead saying today.”
Student athletes at West Allegheny School District are subjected to a similar battery of tests through UPMC's ImPACT software, developed by the health network's Sports Concussion Program 15 years ago.
Dr. Michael “Micky” Collins, the program's executive director, said he supports the research and development of sideline diagnostic tools but worries about the lack of published research supporting C3 Logix or iComet Technologies, a Cleveland Clinic Innovations spinoff that developed the software.
UPMC and Allegheny Health Network are rivals in the Pittsburgh health care market.
“Anytime you put a tool out there, you want to make sure the science is there to support it,” Collins said. “You don't just figure it out as you go when you're dealing with kids with potential brain injuries.”
Chris Rose, head athletic trainer at Shady Side Academy, uses ImPACT. The baseline tests offer a less subjective look at how student athletes are progressing through treatment, he said.
“The technology picks up on subtleties we, as trainers, may miss,” he said. “I can see how adding the balance tests would be helpful in terms of gathering that hard data.”
West Allegheny Athletic Director Dave McBain said his trainers blend the quantitative analysis provided by technology with their own cognitive analysis. Students must be cleared by a qualified medical professional to return to play.
“I had concussions,” he said. “The way we manage and treat a student is totally different now. I tell my kids, ‘This is just high school. Your whole life doesn't hinge on this play, this goal, this season.' We want them to stay healthy, so anything that can help with that works for us.”
Allegheny Health Network, the former West Penn Allegheny Health System, is licensing the software from iComet Technologies.
Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5815 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Redistricting spurs faceoff for Democratic state Reps. Molchany, Readshaw
- Pittsburgh woman’s death at Drexel probed as possible meningitis
- Assessment appeals draw Mt. Lebanon residents’ ire
- Fox Chapel Area superintendent seeks rapport with students
- Newsmaker: Ciara Scanlon Crossey
- House fire in Carnegie, no injuries reported
- Criminal past makes him a target, suspect in East Liberty sisters’ slayings says
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to hold annual public meeting March 26