New Activity-tracking App Could Improve Concussion Care

Published on in CHOP News

For concussion sufferers, a new app may offer new insights into possible relationships between physical and cognitive activity and symptom severity in the days following a concussion.

In a recent pilot study, teams from the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) set out to learn in real-time how active their pediatric patients are in the days after sustaining a concussion, how they’re feeling, and if the two are related.

More than 80 percent of CHOP patients enrolled in a feasibility study used an accelerometer (a device worn at the waist to measure steps) and an iPod Touch® to track real-time physical and cognitive activity and to log symptoms. The app is designed to prompt patients at random times throughout the day to report their symptoms in real-time. Patients also log cognitive activities, such as watching TV, reading, or playing video games.

The research team found that cognitive rest and higher physical activity were associated with lower symptom severity. This new tool may someday help clinicians better customize treatment for patients in the weeks following a concussion. The full study findings are published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

Read more about the study: