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A man uses an iPad at a table

New app designed to educate about concussions and related symptoms and treatments.

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer
Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed Concussion Coach, a mobile application that provides portable tools to recognize symptoms and to identify and make use of coping strategies.

It’s designed to meet the needs of Veterans and others who have suffered mild to moderate concussions.

The Concussion Coach application is designed to educate users about concussions, related symptoms, treatments and to enable users to recognize and assess symptoms.

 In developing the Concussion Coach, we applied the clinical recommendations…to better understand the nature and consequences of injury to the brain. 

It also identifies resources for managing symptoms, planning tools to build resilience, and provides access to crisis resources, including personal support contacts and ways in which the user can obtain professional healthcare.

Its development came about as a result of knowledge gained by VA medical staff in treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Concussion Coach is available for mobile Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, and IPod Touch) from the App Store and will be available to Google Play later in 2014.

Close up of an iPad being used

Brain injuries caused most often from falls and accidents

While combat injuries to Servicemembers and injuries to professional athletes gain media attention, TBI is most often caused by falls, vehicle accidents and violence. TBI is a major cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in children and young adults.

The application is a useful tool and is not intended to replace professional diagnosis, medical treatment or rehabilitation therapies for those who need them.

“We believe that Concussion Coach will support treatment with a healthcare professional by providing portable, convenient tools for the user to recognize symptoms and cope with concussion-related problems,” said Dr. Micaela Cornis-Pop, Speech Pathologist and lead expert for the application.

“In developing the Concussion Coach, we applied the science and the clinical recommendations that have emerged from the recent efforts of researchers and practitioners across many agencies, organizations, and institutions to better understand the nature and consequences of injury to the brain,” she added.

Concussion Coach was collaboratively developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services and the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and the Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

For additional information, go to the Concussion Coach website.