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October 24, 2017

Athletic trainers working with 11 high schools in the Chillicothe, Ohio area will have a new tool for diagnosing concussions and tracking athletes’ symptoms over time. Cognitive baseline tests have been implemented in the schools for the past four years, but with Adena Health System’s new partnership with the ClearEdge Brain Health Toolkit, the athletic trainers will have access to a broader range of information.

“It’s not a diagnosis tool,” Scott Hennigan, ClearEdge representative, told The Chillicothe Gazette. “It’s an assessment tool to give health care professionals the best tools and the best technology they can get to be able to make an assessment call.” 

The ClearEdge toolkit incorporates balance and cognitive tests along with symptom tracking. The system also includes tests for reaction time, pain inventory, sleep, and physical and emotional symptoms relating to concussion.

The toolkit was developed as a way of helping medical professionals access objective, quantitative data that will help in taking care of athletes who have head injuries. And with its ability to record data over time in a HIPAA-compliant cloud, athletic trainers and other medical professionals will be able to gain a better picture of athletes’ histories.

“It’s basically a change of thought,” Hennigan said. “Normally, we just jump on a computer and get some quick results. This being all encompassed in one system, an athletic trainer can test one of their student-athletes, and all of those results get put in the cloud, which goes through a portal and then back here where the doctor can see what’s going on.”

In addition, the data from the assessments will help athletic trainers in making return-to-play decisions. The toolkit is approved by the FDA and provides more information and test-retest reliability than cognitive baseline tests. It also includes less variability in testing.

“Knowing what we know now about the cumulative effects of returning too soon or having too many concussions, we have more to go on to know that this phase is important,” said Melissa Richendollar, MEd, ATC, Adena Rehab Supervisor. 

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