CCEW Works With Tulsa-Based ICEDot To Develop iPad App That Helps Detect Possible Concussions In High School Football Players

By Paighten Harkins, Oklahoma Daily. Read the original article.

As the Friday night lights shone down on the field during an all-American game of football, a member of one of the teams took a hit to the head.

Zachary Lystedt of Tahoma, Wash., decided he felt good enough after the hit to go back out on the field and finish the game. Unbeknownst to him, he had sustained a concussion.

Sometime later, he took another hit to the head and as a result, fell into a coma for 37 days. It took nine months for Lystedt to regain his ability to speak and years of grueling physical therapy before he would walk again.

That was the story Mubeen Shakir, biochemistry senior, heard shortly after he began work on the Software Business Accelerator project as a business intern for the Center of the Creation of Economic Wealth, or CCEW.

If the person in the story hadn’t gone back into the game he could have been spared from the additional trauma, considering there is a much higher risk of brain damage if someone receives a second blow to the head before the concussion had healed, Shakir said.

This semester Shakir is an intern at CCEW working to market a piece of technology that could help prevent these kind of injuries from happening because it would notify those on the sidelines that whatever hit the individual had taken was above the threshold indicative of a concussion. The team consists of four business interns, four software developers and two graphic designers.

“There’s a really huge social problem that we’re trying to solve and we’re using business measures and business applications to try and solve this problem,” he said.

This semester, the business interns, as well as the team of developers and designers, are working with a Tulsa-based company called ICEdot to market its sensors that would be able to detect possible concussions and get the players who may have received them out of the game.

Interns are responsible for marketing the sensor. They’ve done research on concussions in general, found what sport in which concussions are most prevalent, identified a potential market, given presentations of their findings and will soon pitch their recommendations to ICEdot, team leader Caroline Trump said.

While the interns are focused on the business side of the sensor, called HITdot, the designers and developers are working to create an iPad application that connects to the sensor via Bluetooth.

“Without the [designers and developers] we wouldn’t actually have an app or anything,” Trump said.

Throughout the year the interns have to present their findings during two progress review sessions, all working toward the final presentation to be given on Dec. 4.

In preparation for the final presentation, the team meets late in the evenings weekly to discuss the workflow for the week and decide who needs to get what done, Trump said. Sometimes the meetings don’t get out until after midnight, Shakir said.

“If we have a presentation coming up, we’ll stay there that late for a few nights. Then you still have homework to do on top of that,” he said.

Shakir has found that the number of hours he spends working on the project doesn’t really matter though because he cares so much about it, he said.

“School is tough, but you make it work. It’s long hours but the fulfillment you get and the enjoyment you get out of it is totally worth it,” Shakir said.

Sometimes the meetings last long, though, because the team has a lot of fun, Trump said. The atmosphere lends itself to a good working environment for the group, she said.

“Our team gets along really well. We’re really lucky in that aspect,” she said.

The group will make its final presentation on Dec. 4 at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

“[Working for CCEW] is a tremendous learning experience, and I have had a great time along the way,” said Jeffrey Rhea, intern and petroleum engineering senior.



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