Okanagan-built concussion app takes off

A concussion-related app developed in Peachland and Kelowna is off and running with a federal funding announcement.

The PACE mobile app was one of two projects green-lighted by the federal government last week, announcing $120,000 in funding for the app which is designed to help parents recognize the signs of a concussion and assist their children in healing.

“Whether at home, school or in sport, we are more aware than ever that concussions have a huge impact on our children’s health,” said Dr. David Rhine, emergency physician at KGH and director of sports concussion management and co-founder of the app. “A concussion doesn’t only influence daily life, but can result in long-term problems if not treated properly. It can be quite scary if you don’t know what to do, beyond the first visit to the doctor.”

Statistics are now showing that more than 64 per cent of child and youth injuries treated in emergency departments are related to sports and recreation, with concussions being among the most common.

The Progressive Activation and Concussion Education (PACE) app will help parents guide the management of their child’s concussion. After a diagnosis by a doctor, the app identifies trigger symptoms and how to deal with them at home and in school.

The app was developed by Rose Kristiansen, an occupational therapist in Peachland along with Rhine, who are listed as the app’s founder and co-founder. A large team are at work on the project with those involved in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Vancouver, Calgary and even Quebec. kelownaFormer NHL player and Kelowna resident Brent Gilchrist is on an advisory board helping the group.childre

“I would like to improve concussion care for everyone in B.C. and the world, but it is a huge job,” said Kristiansen.

The Government of Canada says concussions in sport are a public health problem because of their frequency and potential for short- and long-term consequences. These include cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms, and when left undetected, even death.

The PACE concussion app will be available by March 2018 on iPhone and android devices.

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