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World Rugby To Adopt Smart Mouth Guards

Rugby is one the most physical sports in the world, requiring players to wear protective gear, including a mouth guard to protect them from lacerations, tooth loss/damage and other issues.

In an attempt to increase the safety of the sport, World Rugby, rugby union’s world governing body, has revealed it will start adopting the use of smart mouth guards, which are able to detect high levels of acceleration and head impacts in real time.

Data will make its way immediately to pitch-side doctors, to assist in making quick decisions about a player’s medical needs in that moment.

Interest for the technology grew after research in ice hockey revealed that along with protecting against dental injuries, the mouth guards reduced the risk of concussion by 20%.

The new move will be debuted later this month, starting with the professional women’s WXV international rugby competition.

World Rugby is investing 2 million euros (approx. $3.3 million AUD) in supporting rugby unions, competitions, and clubs to adopt in the new smart mouth guard technology, currently supplied by Prevent Biometrics, a US company that has been developing the mouth guard for years.

Chief Medical Officer of World Rugby, Dr. Eanna Falvey said “The latest scientific research and expert opinion is telling us one thing — reduce the forces players experience on their heads at all levels of the game. That is exactly what we’re doing.”

“The advances in smart mouth guard technology mean elite players will be better cared for than ever before. We are taking smart mouth guards out of the realm of medical research and putting them into the world of everyday performance management to continue to manage player welfare in the best way possible.”

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