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Name of mobile application
‘World Rugby Concussion’ by World Rugby Limited.
iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; Android—4.0.3 and up.
Free (no in-app purchases)—V.1.4.2 (18 May 2017).
About the app
Concussion is one of the most common injuries in rugby union, with at least one medical attendance per team for a head injury,1 and the World Rugby Concussion app compliments the many existing concussion apps already in circulation.2 Targeted at the general public, this app attempts to both enhance the user’s knowledge and understanding of the basic management of concussion. The app has a focus on concussion symptoms and concussion management guidelines, with a clear layout that hosts the navigational tabs (‘Home’, ‘Pocket CRT’, ‘GRTP’, ‘Video’ and ‘Info’).
The ‘Home’ tab (figure 1) provides training modules in five topics, including a section dedicated to ‘The Referee and Concussion’. The quizzes included after these written information sections are an engaging method to test learning; however, the implementation of these is slightly awkward. The short videos embedded into the app help to further reinforce the content and is of a professional standard. The ‘Pocket CRT’ tab is a clinically valuable addition to this application, allowing the layperson to go straight to the app for assistance with recognising signs and symptoms. Similarly, the ‘GRTP’ tab (figure 2) displays information on the return-to-play stages to the user in a convenient and accessible format. A minor criticism would be that there is an imbalance between the information provided, that is, only three lines for ‘What causes Concussion?’.
This app is a useful educational resource that has synthesised key concussion information into an accessible format for players, coaches and referees in rugby. The addition of the pocket CRT and GRTP makes the app more than just an educational tool, and facilitate the untrained individual towards safe immediate management of concussion. Although the app is focused towards rugby, the content and functionality of the app mean that it would also have use for those involved in other sports.
Use in clinical practice
Given the historical and current under-reporting of concussion in rugby union,3 efforts such as the creation of apps to help the general public recognise this injury should be applauded. The World Rugby Concussion app may be appropriate for students and novice first responders because what the app lacks in depth of information, it makes up for by being succinct and easy to use with interactive and accurate content.
The exclusion of the SCAT3 (and its successor, the more recent SCAT5) from this app is presumably intentional as the app is targeted towards the general public, and as such the value of the app for experienced healthcare professionals and trained pitch-side responders is likely to be limited. However, the reputable and accurate information contained within this app means that health professionals can have confidence in recommending this app to the general public, including parents, to help manage concussion in youth rugby.4
Clearly outlined signs and symptoms for concussion and actions to take;
Effective video demonstrations (corresponding to the included text content);
Cost (ie, free);
Clear message reinforced throughout (‘recognise and remove’);
Inclusion of the CRT and GRTP improve the application’s usability as a clinical tool.
Inability to save scores from the quizzes;
Answers for some of the quiz questions are not included in the learning sections;
Not all of the sections have video content included;
The suggested age range of 12+ could be misleading due to the densely presented information, which is arguably not suitable for the younger audience;
No instructional overview of the app is included;
The density of information included in the ‘Pocket CRT’ tab reduces its usability and is not easy to follow on a smartphone screen;
There is repeated information throughout the learning, videos and conclusions.
Competing interests OHA is an external member of the World Rugby Institutional Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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