Skip to main content

The NFL and GE are giving away $3 million to help fund concussion research

concussion movie nfl will smith football
topseller /
They’re our modern day gladiators, and we’re not doing nearly enough to protect them. Football players across the country, in leagues both big and small and across all ages, are being subjected to a horrifyingly high risk of concussion and other head trauma, and the National Football League in particular has drawn national criticism for doing little to prevent these potentially horrific injuries. But now, the NFL is teaming up with GE to give away a total of $3 million to six different studies or organizations doing research on identifying concussions and working toward recovery. Each of the six recipients of the GE & NFL Head Health Challenge have received $500,000 to continue their research, and help address head trauma, both in terms of proactive prevention and immediate detection.

One of the lucky winners is Bethseda-based BrainScope, a 30-person company that has developed a portable concussion assessment system. Its handheld device, called the Ahead 200, borrows Google’s Android technology and places electrodes on the patient’s skull to conduct an electroencephalogram that measures electrical activity in the brain. Based on these results, the Ahead 200 is able to almost instantly determine whether or not the patient has sustained a serious head injury.

Impressively, BrainScope’s technology has already received the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be employed in diagnostic settings, which means that the public may soon have access to the Ahead 200 and all it has to offer. And more innovations are expected to follow soon thereafter, with Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety policy, telling Reuters that practical applications from grant recipients are expected to hit the market within the next two years.

Said Miller, “It’s not too far in the future. This partnership [with GE] has proven to be all that we had hoped and vastly more in terms of being able to advance the neurosciences in ways that will lead to better protection and the health and safety of our players. And have significant impacts beyond the soccer field, other sports and throughout our community and the military.”

Other $500,000 winners include Banyan Biomarkers Inc. of San Diego, the University of Montana, Missoula, and Quanterix of Lexington, Massachusetts, all of which are examining blood for biomarkers that detect different characteristics of concussion. And in the neuroimaging side, BrainScope is joined by the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and the University of California, Santa Barbara, which are researching EEG-based traumatic brain injury detection to better understand concussions.

Ultimately, Alan Gilbert, director GE’s Global Government and NGO Strategy, said to Reuters, “The lessons we are learning and the innovations we are helping to accelerate are not only going to help us and society overall around mild traumatic brain injury and the safety of the game, and improve safety for athletes across other platforms. We’re going to learn and be able to apply those lessons to things like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.”

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more