Tom Adcock

Enabling the diagnosis of an invisible and potentially fatal concussion.

The prevalence and dangers of concussion is an issue that is only just beginning to be recognised within the sport of rugby. Concussion is a minor traumatic brain injury that is caused by an impact to the head or upper body. Continuing to play rugby in the weeks following a concussion can lead to ‘chronic traumatic encephalopathy’ (CTE), dementia, and in some cases the fatal ‘second impact syndrome’. Due to the notoriously macho attitude towards injury within the sport and the lack of visible symptoms, concussion is rarely diagnosed or treated in rugby players who have been afflicted by it.

Tom Adcock wanted to make it easier for rugby players to identify whether they were suffering from a concussion. His concept was to develop a skullcap equipped with sensors which could measure and record the severity of any impacts to a player’s head during a game. The data from these sensors would be analysed after the game to check for any potential concussive impacts, in which case the player could then seek medical attention.

The Dave Granshaw Foundation enabled Tom to turn his concept into a working prototype by providing him with the funds he needed to source sensors that were tough enough to withstand severe impacts yet small enough to be integrated into Tom’s unobtrusive skullcap design.

You can see more of Tom’s work at