Bupa Dental Care has announced it will extend its partnership with HITIQ to make ‘smart mouthguards’ available to junior and amateur sports players Australia-wide.
The company said this is the first-time hi-tech mouthguard technology has been made available to junior and amateur athletes in Australia.
The HITIQ smart mouthguards, which are currently used by Australia's professional football codes, are embedded with force measuring sensors that log head impacts and the accumulation of force from hits sustained during a game.
Paired with a mobile application, the system provides an alert following the detection of any significant head impact and then directs the parent to assess their child’s potential symptoms using HITIQ’s concussion symptomology screening tool.
According to Bupa’s managing director of health services Dr Dwayne Crombie, “We trialled the mouthguards with the Wests Bulldogs Junior Rugby Club and the results were overwhelmingly positive with parents and coaches reporting greater peace of mind following game-day collisions.
“We’re proud to be the first dental network to offer the HITIQ mouthguards to all Australians to help encourage participation in community sport by making it a safer experience.”
Based on the results of the screening tool linked to the mouthguard, a player may be directed to an appropriate medical professional for further assessment after a collision.
Where a player is subsequently diagnosed with a concussion by a medical professional, the HITIQ application provides ongoing guidance on the management of concussion symptoms, as well as recognised return-to-play protocols.
HITIQ CEO Mike Vegar said he was proud to be partnering with Bupa Dental Care. “Our founding vision was based on building technology that could have a meaningful impact on the health outcomes of athletes across the world, amateurs and children included.
"Together with Bupa Dental Care, we are making significant strides towards realising that vision and allowing the grassroots markets access to our technology platform,” said Mr Vegar.
People can be fitted for a custom-fitted HITIQ mouthguard at participating Bupa Dental practices around Australia now.