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App tests for concussions on the field

HOUSTON – Thanks to a $1 billion lawsuit and a recently-released movie, concussions have gotten a lot of attention. 
Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, designed Braincheck, which measures brain function. Kids take a baseline test, before the season. After a hit, they test again – while on the field – and compare the results.

HOUSTON – Thanks to a $1 billion lawsuit and a recently-released movie, concussions have gotten a lot of attention. 

Can technology replace emotion in making a tough call on the field? Turns out, there's an app for that.

From the NFL to the UIL, concussions are a serious business.

High school football player Matthew Freeman took a bad hit last year.

"He hit me right here on side of helmet and that's the last thing I remember," Freeman said.

Then a freshman, Freeman's ears were ringing when he got the standard questions, including, "What's your name? Do you know what day it is?"

He answered them all correctly. So, should he stay in the game?

Baylor College of Medicine Dr. David Eagleman thought there must be a more scientific way to approach the problem, by testing perception cognition, memory and more.

The neuroscientist designed Braincheck, which measures brain function. Kids take a baseline test, before the season. After a hit, they test again – while on the field – and compare the results.

"In five minutes, we can tell whether or not to send that child back to play or send him to the doctor."  Eagleman said. "We can also use it to track recovery for time."

The goal? To help determine when to return during the season.     

Former NFL linebacker Joe Wesley is also working with Braincheck. For No. 50, a trip through the fast food drive can trigger questions. 

"I really forget everything I just ordered. Am I really having some type of effects or am I just tired?" Wesley said.

He's likes the technology – randomly generated questions means players can't "game the test."

KHOU 11 News asked Freeman to give BrainCheck a try.

"I really had to think about some of the stuff I was doing," the teen said.

It's a test that requires a certain amount of concentration.

Freeman says it's tougher than the "field test" he did pass after last year's hit.  Even so, his coaches, pulled him from the game. 

"My parents actually drove me to the hospital," he said.

An X-ray showed the then 15-year-old had a concussion.

You can download Braincheck Concussion from the app store for free. For information on concussions:

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