TeachAids, in Collaboration with Stanford University, Announces CrashCourse, the First Research-Based, Virtual Reality Concussion Education
TeachAids has announced its next initiative: CrashCourse, a cutting-edge concussion curriculum will be distributed for free to audiences nationwide. The online version of CrashCourse Football launched on Sept. 8, 2018 at the Stanford-USC football game, and the Virtual Reality version and additional modules will launch in Jan. 2019.
The CrashCourse product is the result of two-years of research, six months of production, thousands of hours of user-testing and more than a thousand individuals who gave their time to contribute. It aims to shift the public conversation about concussions from age-old fear and silence towards knowledge and empowerment.
“In the next 10 years, the CDC estimates that over 20 million children playing school sports will sustain a concussion,” said Dr. Piya Sorcar, founder and CEO of TeachAids. “No equipment, including helmets, can prevent concussions, and the overwhelming majority of students, parents, and coaches are unaware of the latest science around the management and treatment of concussions.”
CrashCourse allows students to “virtually” experience sustaining a concussion on the field through an interactive film, immerse themselves in a fly-through tour of the brain with Stanford’s cutting-edge neuroimaging technology, engage with top athletes who share up-to-date medical knowledge and personal experiences, and simulate concussion symptoms. The platform features current athletes such as Stanford running back and Doak Walker award-winner Bryce Love, as well as NFL Hall of Famers Steve Young and Ronnie Lott, and Super Bowl MVP Jim Plunkett.
“By utilizing proper concussion protocols and supporting athletes and teammates, the risk of secondary injuries from concussions can be reduced by three to five times,” said Dr. Daniel Daneshvar, neuroscientist and CTE researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine. “Parents and players understanding these issues is the first step toward the creation of safer sporting environments.”
Brought to life by top global experts in education, engineering and medicine alongside coaches and student athletes, CrashCourse accelerated its development by receiving seed funding of $1.5 million from the Taube Stanford Concussion Collaborative.
In the earliest stages, dozens of Stanford athletes signed up for research course units through the Graduate School of Education to investigate the concussion problem with Dr. Sorcar. These players went on to work with local youth to further shape the curriculum, and the next year, several dozen more Division 1 athletes joined in to support their research.
“It’s not just in football, but across all sports. When these kids and parents come to our clinics they are starving for information,” said Dr. Gerald Grant, Division Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Stanford Medicine. “The power of CrashCourse is that it speaks to students in their own language. We hope it makes a huge impact around the world.”
The CrashCourse soft launch included two PSA media spots on the Jumbotron during the game including a PSA featuring Jim Plunkett and Ronnie Lott and a short overview clip about CrashCourse. Stanford players led by Coach David Shaw were wearing CrashCourse shirts along “The Walk” between the locker rooms and the stadium. Stanford’s Athletics Department sponsored a CrashCourse booth at FanFest to feature the full concussion education interactive curriculum, as well as an opportunity for visitors to view a research version of the VR product. The curriculum was also playing throughout the day on the large Tennis wall kiosk for spectators to view while at the tailgates.
CrashCourse is the second free health education program launched in collaboration with Stanford University by TeachAids. It follows the global success of TeachAids’ award-winning HIV/AIDS interactive software, which is used in 82 countries around the world.