Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Ex-student's smart idea

ANOTHER former student of The Henley College is in the running for an award.

Enterpreneur Robert Paterson has been shortlisted for a Nesta Inventor Prize after developing a kind of “smart” gum shield that could detect when rugby players have suffered a head injury.

It is still at an early stage but could be developed further if he wins the £50,000 prize. The winner will be announced in September.

Mr Paterson, 24, from Woodley, suffered a head injury while playing for Reading Rugby Club when he was still at college.

He was told he only had concussion but he collapsed a few days later and was found to have a bleed on the brain. He suffered no long-term damage but was bedbound for five weeks.

He came up with his idea after studying for an engineering degree at Loughborough University. The device would monitor impacts to the head to help doctors assessing an injured player.

Mr Paterson said: “It is a research tool that would capture data about when, where and why these injuries occur so that safety measures can be introduced.

“It would also act as a diagnostic tool as the ultimate aim is to avoid misdiagnosed head injuries. We want to keep people in the sport safe.”

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