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New mobile app monitors athletes' brain performance

The University of Portland will use the app to check athletes for concussions.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The University of Portland has a new tool to help monitor student athletes from anywhere. It's an app called HitCheck that’s designed to test brain performance.

“Our goal is to make sure we’re safely returning our athletes to sports,” says Dr. Jamie Schlueter of the University of Portland.

Athletes download the app, then take a baseline test that's kind of like a video game to judge brain performance. That takes less than 10 minutes.

“It measures different parts of your brain,” said HitCheck CEO Mike Piha. “There’s memory: short term, long term. There’s coordination, balance and problem solving.”

If an athlete is injured, they retake the test and a decision is made about further medical treatment.

The technology is especially valuable during the pandemic.

“We get all those baselines uploaded without having to bring everybody in together and congregate in a tight space, or socially distanced and it takes us six years to get it done because we can't use but two or three computers at a time safely,” said Dr. Schlueter.

About 300 athletes at the University of Portland will use the app. It’s designed for individuals or teams.

HitCheck is adapting the app for use by the military and to help recognize signs of early onset dementia. 

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