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NFL's Head Health Challenge Has A Local Judge

Institute for Human and Machine Cognition

Concussions are hot. With the amount of attention concussions have gotten recently you'd think they were just discovered in the last decade. Perhaps they were. Over the years the serious long term effects of even one concussion have become clear…and there are efforts to try to better detect and prevent concussions.

That’s where Dr. Ken Ford, the Founder and CEO of the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, a not-for-profit research institute located in Pensacola, comes in. He has been chosen as one of the judges of the Head Health Challenge 2…a competition sponsored by the National Football League, GE and Under Armor that is looking for innovative approaches for identifying and preventing brain injury.

There are a wide range of judges in the event that will award up to 10 million dollars to the winning entry. Dr. Ford says each judge brings a unique set of skills.  Dr. Ford was asked to participate because of his expertise in technology, whereas other judges will focus on the physical aspects of concussion.

And while the main sponsor of the Head Health Challenge is the NFL, there are many places that are watching the study of concussions with interest including the military, who will also have a representative on the panel of judges.

The competition is already underway. Head Health Challenge 2 is accepting proposals through January 30. There will then be a sorting process that will narrow down the number of applicants that will actually appear before the judges.  The first challenge had hundreds of entries from over 30 countries. The judges for Head Health Challenge 2 will gather to sort out the best proposals in July, 2014.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.