This CorTemp capsule allows coaches to monitor players' body temperature, which is helpful in assessing whether or not they should continue practice in hot weather. The N&O article has a neat photo of a player's temperature being taken through his back.
The pill is also part of a study that is assessing situations that could promote concussions. Kevin Guskiewicz, head of UNC's department of exercise and sport science, referred to a "theory that dehydration could make concussions more likely;" he added that because symptoms are so similar, it can be difficult to tell if a player is dehydrated or if he has suffered from a concussion.
Guskiewicz has been working on another study, in which sensors are inserted in players' helmets to correlate the amount of force it takes in different locations for a player to sustain a concussion. Used together, the temperature pill and the helmet sensor can help determine if the player has sustained a concussion. Further, because Guskiewicz has been testing the pill on other teams, he says that the the aggregate data can help " 'compare the G-forces to the temperature, and try to correlate whether the [G-forces] get higher when the body temperature is hotter.' "
I'm glad to read that researchers are trying to develop methods to prevent situations that can cause dehydration and concussion, because ... I'm ready for some football!
For More Information
- Pickeral, Robbi. UNC Gauges a Gut Reaction. News & Observer, August 12, 2009. page A1.
- HQ Inc. Press Stories and Downloads (about using the CorTemp pill to detect stress). Sources include NBC Nightly News, a PowerPoint showing CorTemp's use on the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 training camp, and a 2006 IEEE Spectrum article on CorTemp.