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College student creates device to potentially prevent sports concussions

Concussions have plagued sports players and the community for years. However, one Dallas college student’s idea may just be the saving grace of players everywhere. 20-year-old Carter Hogg, came out with a device that can potentially help “eradicate” head injuries in sports. 

In an interview with Reuters, Hog described his pivot to studying concussions after his brother, a former linebacker at Washington and Lee University, suffered a career-ending concussion that left him in recovery for months.

“It was really difficult to see my brother go through the very long period of just getting back to where he was before that concussion,” said Hogg. “That was a major motivating factor behind seeing if I could bring something new to the issue of concussions.”

The fruit of Hogg’s labor became a protective balaclava worn under the helmet and shoulder pads called G8RSkin. The balaclava is five millimeters thick and intended “to stabilize the neck and head and dissipate the energy from a hit.” 

Following testing at Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab, it was found that G8RSkin could reduce concussions by nearly 60%. The balaclava is currently designed to be worn under helmets for hockey, lacrosse and downhill skiing.

Versions of G8RSkin are being developed for other sports including rugby and “non-helmeted sports.” The balaclava is currently being used in a pilot program by teams from middle school to college including High himself, who is a sophomore defensive back at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“I would say it is the absence of pain or any sort of feeling from the sense of I hit somebody and my head hurts, that just doesn’t happen when you wear the G8RSkin,” said Hogg. “I’ve now played two full games, and it felt awesome, laid a couple big hits and been completely fine, and I do honestly think it had a major impact with a couple of those hits.”

The attention around G8RSkin has only grown as Jay Brunetti, the San Francisco 49ers director of equipment operations, and three additional physicians are appointed to its medical advisory committee. 

These physicians are composed of Drs. Tamara Wexler, director of the Pituitary Center at NYU Langone Medical Center; Charles A. Popkin, team physician for USA Hockey; and Audrey Pau, alternate chancellor for the ACEP Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee.

Hogg excitedly addressed the newly formed medical committee in a recent press release.

“We are overjoyed to announce the formation of our Medical Advisory Committee,” said Hogg. “The ability to collaborate with premier medical experts like Drs. Tamara Wexler, Audrey Paul, and Charles Popkin is absolutely critical in allowing us to continuously improve the performance of G8RSkin PPE and our other upcoming products. Their knowledge, expertise, and passion blend seamlessly with our mission here at G8RTech: keeping athletes safe.”

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