Following a number of negative reports in the media, the NFL has been looking for ways to mitigate the risk of concussions on the football field. As part of this initiative, the NFL has teamed up with General Electric to develop new concussion-detection systems. With GE, the NFL will invest $50 million in the development of new ways to study brain injury.
This new joint initiative is good for General Electric. One of GE’s divisions, GE Healthcare, is a major manufacturer of diagnostic imaging equipment like MRIs, CT scanners and PET scanners.
To date, there has been little well-funded research into the physiological effects of concussions on the human brain. In addition, there is limited formal research on the impact of other traumatic brain injuries. According to sources, the majority of brain-based imaging funds go towards diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
According to details of the arrangement, at least $30 million of the $50 million donation will be used to develop imaging equipment for head trauma patients. This initial development spur is estimated to last at least four years. In addition to in-house research, GE will also create a contest welcome to outsiders. This $20 million content, dubbed an “innovation challenge,” will be similar to technology contests hosted by DARPA, the military research group.
GE will decide all winners in the contest. Contests with approved designs will receive financial backing and company resources to bring the concussion imaging product to the market.