Lovejoy Athletic Department’s New Concussion Program: Sway Balance

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Sydney Cole

This year, the Lovejoy Athletic Department adopted a new concussion screening program, Sway Balance. This program uses a series of symptoms, balance, and cognitive tests to alert your coaches if you have a possible concussion. Sway Balance also has COVID-19 screening, which asks for temperature and symptoms.

Sway is a program that will target different symptoms of a concussion that the impact test didn’t in the past. For example: balance, reaction time, and vestibular issues.” said Coach Hulme, girls basketball coach.

The Sway Balance app was created through a partnership of Sway Medical and ImPact, the company that created a different concussion program that was used in the 2020-2021 school year. These companies combined to create a short, sweet, and efficient way to screen for concussions. The health care professionals at these companies combine their knowledge of muscle, brain, and inner ear dysfunction to accurately analyze the health of your body.

“I prefer ImPACT, it was easier because some of the things on Sway Balance were moving extremely fast so it was hard to see sometimes,” said Timi Segun, 8.

While this program seems great on paper, many students experienced difficulty with the test. Several WSMS athletes who took the test failed, even though they were fully healthy and had no recent head trauma. This could be for multiple reasons: the test is too sensitive to movement, the athletes who failed weren’t paying attention, or it was too loud in a testing environment that is meant to be quiet.

“I think many athletes failed the Sway test because they didn’t read the directions, weren’t completely still, or were just goofing off,” said Teni Segun, 8.

Sway Balance is FDA-approved, and is partnered with Duke Health, Tulsa Public Schools, Texas Health Resources, the Philadelphia Phillies, Baylor Scott & White, and the Arkansas Razorbacks. As the study of head trauma grows, we should expect to see more company collaborations and new screening programs.

Sway’s research and data science team works closely with researchers at leading academic institutions such as Harvard, Duke, and Wichita State University to conduct research, gather data, and validate the Sway platform.” said Kerry Daley, writer for Sway Medical.