It was once said that, eventually, the phrase "there's an app for that" would be applicable to just about everything. Now, thanks to Return2Play, now available from the University of Michigan and available for iPhones via iTunes, we're a little bit closer to that by having an app specifically geared toward helping concussion victims recover from their injuries.
The Return2Play app costs 99 cents, and provides a way for users to enter the date and the nature of their injuries. Then, working with a physician, the user can record any symptoms they're having, along with the level of their severity and what activities they were engaged in at the time that may have triggered the symptoms in question. Further, the user can add appointment dates to a calendar contained in the app, and add notes directly to the calendar all within the app itself. Users can even e-mail information about their progress to, say, a trainer or coach to help track the time until the recovery phase is complete.
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A product of the U-M Pediatric Trauma Program, along with Michigan NeuroSport, the app is designed to help concussion victims--who generally find themselves represented in sports activities--not only track their own recovery, but help their physicians and trainers track that recovery as well and provide help more specifically tailored to the point at which their recovery is located.
Amy Teddy, the Injury Prevention Program Manager at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, described further benefits of the program: "Return2Play was designed with the patient and healthcare team in mind. Our goal is to create a more efficient clinic appointment that leads to better management of the injury and safe return to play decisions. This allows for a more streamlined, efficient clinic visit by eliminating the need for recollection of the injury details, signs and symptoms. It also provides a learning section that provides quick access to education and tips about concussion."
Already the app has several success stories, including that of Troy Mitchell, a Farmington High School football player who got a concussion while playing football. He used the Return2Play app to track his recovery, and both his family and physicians were very pleased with the app's level of interactivity and ability to keep everyone in the loop on recovery status.
While high school sports carry some element of danger, proper protective gear can go a long way in reducing that risk. When injuries happen, being able to track recovery and provide just the right help at the right time helps even more, giving young athletes the ability to get back out on the field while at the same time protecting that vital next generation of young people who will one day become the leaders of the world as we know it. Protecting that vital investment, even by something so simple as an iPhone app, can never be regarded as a bad move.
Edited by Brooke Neuman