The Q-Collar wearable health device is ready to change the landscape of concussion prevention
The GIST: The future of preventing head injuries could be here. A new device has the potential to change the landscape of concussion prevention, and it’s being showcased by women on one of the world's biggest stages — the 2023 WWC.
The context: It’s old news that soccer is a dangerous sport for head injuries — men’s studies have shown this for years. However, recent research focused on women’s soccer players have exposed how the game can be even more dangerous to the craniums of women athletes.
The device: Players like Canada’s Quinn and Costa Rica’s Rocky Rodríguez have donned a new device during the WWC. The Q-Collar is a silicone horse-shoe shaped device that compresses the jugular veins to stabilize the neck and reduce the risk and severity of traumatic brain injury.
- The product was cleared by the FDA in 2021 and has been primarily worn by football and lacrosse players since, even making its way to the NFL.
The trend: Wearable health devices are on the rise. The wearable medical device market was valued at $26.8B in 2022, but sports preventative wearables are relatively untested in the research process. Still, more and more athletes are starting to wear the Q-Collar. A big brain move.
- The concept of neck stability in sports is not new, however. Formula 1 has been using its HANS Device since 2003 and neck restraints have been mandatory in NASCAR since 2001.
Zooming out: On top of ground-breaking technology being pioneered by women on a huge international stage, the device’s presence at the WWC sheds light on the lack of funding, research, and access women sports typically have in sports health and science. Will the wearable trend result in a more inclusive space for women athletes? We sure hope so.