Australian NFL Pioneer Named First Concussion Ambassador
Colin Scotts, the first Australian to receive an American football scholarship in the United States and be drafted into the NFL also has the distinction of becoming our first Concussion Ambassador!
Growing up in Palm Beach, Sydney, Scotts first played rugby union for the Scots College and was a member of the undefeated 1981 Australian Schoolboys Rugby team. After being spotted by an assistant coach during a rugby game, he later moved to Hawaii, on a full football scholarship.
He was drafted in the third round of the 1987 NFL Draft, then forged a career in the NFL where he played as a defensive end and tight end in 1987 for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Oilers.
His NFL career ended, but his passion for sport did not. He became a WWF wrestler and motivational speaker. Additionally, he wrote a biography titled “All Balls: They Said an Aussie Couldn’t Make It”, published in 2002.
When Scotts met Concussionometer
Dr Adrian Cohen, founder of Headsafe concussion program and researcher at the Sydney, NSW and Macquarie Universities, presented the Concussionometer to the former Australian NFL star. Immediately he grasped its significance and importance for current and past players.
The Concussionometer™ is a concussion assessment device targeting an estimated 10 million annual head injuries globally.
“This is a game-changer,” said Scotts, “the first truly objective, accurate device to assess concussion, and just like me, it’s an Aussie first!”
Just like that, Scotts was on board.
The importance of Concussion Assessment
The revolutionary device is designed to take the uncertainty, and controversy, out of concussion diagnosis. Not only is this critical at the elite sports level, but also for school and community sports. It ensures that players, medical staff, coaches and parents know when the player can safely return to the game.
Concussion is a widespread epidemic that affects more than just the elite sports players. To conquer this, there are plans for extensions into motor vehicle accidents, playground mishaps, falls in the elderly and military arena concussion.
The research team behind the Concussionometer created the first portable headset using clinically validated and patented technology to measure the brain’s electrical activity. It then sends results to a smartphone for analysis, and to the cloud for storage.
In merely 2 minutes, the results tell when a player is concussed and must leave the field. It also assesses when they are safe to return to playing. This is much quicker than the regular 20 minutes required for the currently used SCAT test (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool). It’s easy, efficient and results are quick, leaving no time for uncertainty, and minimising risk.
Concussion in global terms
Concussion is an expensive affair. It costs Australia alone an estimated $50 million annually, and the U.S. in excess of $60 billion USD each year. The human cost is viewed in short, medium and long-term consequences ranging from prolonged symptoms and lost productivity all the way to catastrophic Second Impact Syndrome deaths and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE was the subject of last year’s Hollywood blockbuster film “Concussion” featuring Will Smith. The idea of concussion is becoming more widespread, more recognised and emphasis on treatment and prevention is on the rise.
In conclusion, Scotts says:
“Concussion is such an important disease, you just can’t afford to get the diagnosis wrong, there’s too much at stake. Not just for elite athletes, but for the kids who love their sport, and the parents like me who love their kids.”
“The Concussionometer takes the guesswork out of concussion, and will become the new gold standard for concussion diagnosis.”