After the user answers a series of questions, the app determines the likelihood of a concussion and can eMail information to a doctor.

Need to know if it’s safe for a student athlete to return to the game after suffering a blow to the head? There’s an app for that.

The next tool in the campaign against concussions might be your smart phone: A doctor at the University of North Carolina has teamed with other head-trauma researchers to develop an application for mobile devices that helps determine whether someone might have suffered a concussion.

Jason Mihalik of UNC’s brain injury research center joined Justin Smith of Psychological Assessment Resources Inc. and the Children’s National Medical Center in developing the program.

Smith says it’s the first observer-based concussion app. After the user answers a series of questions, the app determines the likelihood of a concussion and can eMail information to a doctor. Mihalik said June 2 that the basis for the app’s question flow comes from materials provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

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The “Concussion Recognition & Response” app is available for $3.99 from Apple’s App Store under the category “Health & Fitness.”

Besides providing a checklist of possible symptoms to help determine whether to remove a student athlete from the game and seek further medical help, the app includes a feature that allows a parent, coach, or trainer to record an athlete’s symptoms through periodic evaluations, then eMail this information to a health care provider for an update on recovery. It also features a “Return-to-Play” guide that helps determine when it’s safe for a student athlete to return to action following a concussion.

The introduction of the app is just one way to speed the response to possible concussions.