Most professional sports have protocols for head injuries, but for the majority of us as amateurs, there is little standardisation in the way these are dealt with, be that the initial care, what happens if the effects of the injury aren’t apparent till after a game, and how injuries are recorded.
This lack of consistency creates two critical issues:
- The first, and most significant, is that players can easily ‘play on’, without being aware of the potential risks and harm they could be doing to themselves.
- Secondly, the lack of consistent data means that the government and sport governing bodies are unable to understand the scale of any issues and implement suitable procedures to protect players.
For Abby Edwards, a long-term rugby fan and organiser of tournaments, now is the time for something to be done. Abby’s start-up, RugbySpy, is developing a head injuries management app designed to tackle both issues.
Called Heads Up and currently available through the Apple Store by invitation only, the app takes you on a journey to triage an injury and assess whether you have managed to rehabilitate yourself and can safely go back to play.
Developing a medical app is a big challenge for any entrepreneur. To be successful an app needs to be easily available through app stores such as Apple and Google Play, which require strict compliance with privacy law.
The RugbySpy app is geared towards grass roots players, including juniors, which meant a robust data collection policy had to be in place. This is particularly important for juniors aged 13 and under as different privacy rules apply.
Our technology and data protection expert, David Sant, was perfectly positioned to support Abby with the legal documents for her app. She commented:
Benefiting from our Enterprise plan, Abby explains ‘I knew I’d need legal support in different areas, but I wasn’t sure exactly where, when and how much I’d need. As a multifaceted law firm, I’m able to rely on Harper James to guide me, commercially as well as legally.’
Like many entrepreneurs, Abby is now at a crossroads with how to move the business forwards. To date this has been a side project for Abby alongside her main work as a recruiter, however, to make a real difference she knows uptake is key.
‘Where I am now is completely different to where I was a year ago. We’re currently finessing the app and making it ready for use by all levels of sport, which for me is the motivation.
Now is the time to get people talking and make head injuries a less taboo subject. Instead of shying away from sports in fear, we need to educate and support but also collect data so that we can continue to make informed decisions.
Whatever the future holds, it’s reassuring to have such a supportive law firm in my corner’.