Palmos – instrumented mouthguard

Making contact sports safer through monitoring impacts to the head in real-time.

Dany Shalhoub
University of Twente
BSc Technical Computer Science

Over het initiatief / About the initiative

Palmos – instrumented mouthguard

In welke fase zit jouw initiatief? / In what stage is your initiative?


Heb je jouw initiatief al gevalideerd? / Did you validate your initiative?

According to research, globally there are about 69 million known traumatic brain injuries a year. This number is way more as 50% of all brain injuries go undetected or undiagnosed. Along with these statistics we have done our own surveys and interviews with contact sport athletes. Many mention that they are concerned about the amount of injuries that they think they have had, however due to their own lack of knowledge of symptoms they have not been to a doctor. Some have also shown concern about how serious their coaches, or for example parents, take potential signs of injuries. Our mouthguard will be able to give detailed information about impacts, allowing people to understand how hard an impact was that they sustained. In such a manner they can make informed decisions whether to visit a doctor, take a rest or continue playing.

Meer informatie over jouw initiatief / More info about your initiative

In the intense world of contact sports, players often receive severe head impacts. Such an impact to the head can lead to serious consequences. Often athletes do not even realise that they have sustained serious damage to their head or brain and continue playing as symptoms may appear hours after sustaining an injury.


If in any case a first impact did not yet cause a serious injury, the second impact will. This is because the first impact causes the brain to swell, leaving less protective and absorptive area around the brain, making the latter impact much more severe. This is also known as “Second Impact Syndrome”.


Additionally, doctors do not have an accurate description of when, how many and how severe head impacts were. This lack of data makes it hard to correctly diagnose or recognize an injury in time. It also makes both athletes and professionals, such as doctors and coaches, clueless about what the best thing is to do: is the athlete able to continue or should they rest? 


Finally, contact sports prohibit athletes from wearing external wearables while playing a sport making performance tracking a challenge. Embedding the sensors, which usually track performance metrics in external wearables, within the mouthguard would solve this problem, allowing for analysis of an athlete at any moment.

Wat is er anders/nieuw aan jouw idee/oplossing t.o.v. bestaande oplossingen? / What is different/new about your idea/solution compared to existing solutions??

Normal mouthguards only protect one’s smile and do not aid in the safety of one’s brain while exercising a contact sport. Our product will do the same while also monitoring the safety of athletes.


There are similar products out there such as helmets or small devices that one can attach to equipment that can measure impacts, however due to them being external devices and not firmly attached to the skull the measurement’s precision are not as good as they should be. The mouthguard we develop is attached to the athlete’s upper-jaw, which is directly connected to the rest of the skull, allowing for exact and precise tracking of the head’s movement. This will finally generate accurate and credible data.

Wat zijn jouw volgende stappen om het verder te ontwikkelen? / What are your next steps to develop the initiative?

Our next steps are making a prototype and getting intent from (professional) sport teams to run a pilot with us. This allows us to test our systems, see how accurate the data generated by our device is, to then improve the measurements.

Wat heb je nodig om (nog meer) impact te maken met dit initiatief? / What do you need to make (more) impact with this initiative?

What is most important for us right now is gaining the exposure and letting sport teams and federations know that we are working on a solution for a problem that many contact sports struggle with.