'Nerve' Concussion Mouthguard  2015 Honours Project

Concussion has been at the forefront of concern for sports players particularly in rugby for a long time. It is the most complex injury in contact sport to identify and if it’s not assessed and managed correctly it can leave the player with lifelong effects. There are currently no products available in professional rugby to identify, diagnose and manage concussion.

Nerve is a concussion identification and management system. The mouthguard design utilises inertial motion sensors to identify forces transmitted to the head that can be missed by the human eye, providing medical staff with accurate data in real time. This allows the sideline doctor to rapidly decide, with the benefit of accurate data, if the player needs to come off the field for rehabilitation to minimise the possibility of lifelong injury after sustaining a significant head knock. 

Middle Layer

The innovation and design is in the middle layer which fits within a ‘custom dental mouth guard’. This enhances the player’s level of comfort and protection. The microelectronics are inset within this layer, protected from any exposed forces. These components are laminated within the mouth guard preventing any health and safety concerns. The form of the design reflects a high tech sporting aesthetic, where the vents help to dissipate shock to the jaw. Each mouth guard can be customized to a variety of team colours, player’s names and position numbers aligning it to potential branding opportunities. The technology within the mouth guard has the player’s information stored, which is calibrated with the doctor’s side line app.


Sideline App

The data received from the mouth guard is linked to a side line iPad which accumulates the player’s percentage of concussion risk based on an algorithm. It identifies on the head where the player has sustained the impact while also providing previous concussion history and preseason baseline tests. These tests are then compared to the present concussion in real time.

Inductive Charging Case

The inductive charging case charges the mouthguard without requiring external cables or electrodes. The case is powered by a USB port making it easy to transport.  Providing each player with their own case and mouth guard minimizes the amount of involvement required by the medical researcher, coach or physio.

Wearable technology is becoming an emerging trend in sport design. Nerve provides state of the art technology with a huge focus on the user experience enhancing the players long term safety and performance.