An assessment of the utility and functionality of wearable head impact sensors in Australian Football

Andrew S. McIntosh, Catherine Willmott, Declan A. Patton, Biswadev Mitra, James H. Brennan, Bleydy Dimech-Betancourt, Teresa S. Howard, Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess the utility and functionality of the X-Patch® as a measurement tool to study head impact exposure in Australian Football. Accuracy, precision, reliability and validity were examined. Designs: Laboratory tests and prospective observational study. Methods: Laboratory tests on X-Patch® were undertaken using an instrumented Hybrid III head and neck and linear impactor. Differences between X-Patch® and reference data were analysed. Australian Football players wore the X-Patch® devices and games were video-recorded. Video recordings were analysed qualitatively for head impact events and these were correlated with X-Patch® head acceleration events. Wearability of the X-Patch® was assessed using the Comfort Rating Scale for Wearable Computers. Results: Laboratory head impacts, performed at multiple impact sites and velocities, identified significant correlations between headform-measured and device-measured kinematic parameters (p < 0.05 for all). On average, the X-Patch®-recorded peak linear acceleration (PLA) was 17% greater than the reference PLA, 28% less for peak rotational acceleration (PRA) and 101% greater for the Head Injury Criterion (HIC). For video analysis, 118 head acceleration events (HAE) were included with PLA ≥30 g across 53 players. Video recordings of X-Patch®-measured HAEs (PLA ≥30 g) determined that 31.4% were direct head impacts, 9.3% were indirect impacts, 44.1% were unknown or unclear and 15.3% were neither direct nor indirect head impacts. The X-Patch® system was deemed wearable by 95–100% of respondents. Conclusions: This study reinforces evidence that use of the current X-Patch® devices should be limited to research only and in conjunction with video analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-789
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Australian Football
  • Concussion
  • Head impact biomechanics
  • Sports injury
  • Wearable sensors

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