Return2Play Medical App Review, available for iPhone & Android

In light of the spotlight placed on the NFL concussion settlement and evidence of the detrimental long-term effects of concussions, iMedicalApps began an extensive review of the most up to date concussion guidelines. Based on these guidelines, iMedicalApps published an article with recommendations on the best apps for concussion assessment and evaluation.

However, after the athlete has been assessed using tools like the Concussion Assessment & Response App, how can we manage the day-to-day recovery of athletes? Athletes, by nature, are highly competitive individuals and want to return to action as soon as possible. Allowing a player to return to play too early or at an inappropriate stage of recovery can lead to an increased risk for a repeat concussion and long-term brain injury.

The Pediatric Trauma Program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in conjunction with Michigan NeuroSport created an app, Return2Play, with the goal of helping both athletes and healthcare providers track recovery post-concussion and ultimately aid in the decision to return to play.

Return2Play allows users to enter details of the injury, activities, symptoms and associated severity, and progress notes throughout the recovery protocol. Return2Play uses the BRAIN recovery protocol developed by Michigan NeuroSport:

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The framework for the BRAIN recovery protocol is similar to the concussion recovery guidelines set by leading bodies of experts in traumatic brain injury – American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Academy of Neurology, and the Zurich Consensus Working Group. The recovery guidelines outlined by the Zurich Consensus Working Group can be seen in the table below (note the similarities):

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User Interface

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The home screen shows the calendar which allows you to get a birds-eye view of when your injury occurred, activity performance, symptoms, and appointments through a color coordinated system. Under each date you can see a brief description of the entry and then choose to get more information by tapping on the entry.

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From the home screen you can select “profile” and create a profile by entering a few identifiers – name and birth date.

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The history tab allows for a chronological view of the following entry types: injury, symptoms, activity, note, and appointment. From here you can select “+” on the top right and enter details regarding the above entry types.

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When you add an activity you must enter the date/time, specific activity and its associated step (B-R-A-I-N), duration of the activity, and any notes. When you add a symptom you must enter the date/time, specific symptom, severity on a scale of 0-10, duration, and any notes.

By tapping on the “learn” tab on the home screen you can access educational information pertaining to signs & symptoms, myths, risk factors, risk reduction and recovery tips.

Anytime during the recovery protocol you have the ability to email the healthcare provider symptoms, activities, and notes from a selected time range, allowing the healthcare provider to stay updated on any recurring symptoms and help guide medical decisions.

Who would benefit from the app?

  • Primary Care Physicians (ie. Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics)
  • Sports Team Staff
  • Coaches
  • Parents
  • Athletes
  • Price
    • $0.99
    • Easy to navigate and use
    • Simple yet effective design
    • Ability to email healthcare provider concussion journal entries
    • Calendar with color coordinated entries
    • Uses an appropriate recovery protocol – BRAIN
  • Dislikes
    • No password-protected email feature
    • At the onset of app use, does not provide users with an introduction on how the BRAIN protocol works. This is found hidden in the Learn tab.
  • Overall

    Return2Play is one of the few concussion apps available that addresses the recovery process and includes a gradual step-by-step protocol. It is the only concussion recovery app that allows users to enter detailed notes on symptoms, activities, and appointments, therefore acting as the ultimate recovery journal. The design is simple, effective, and promotes communication between the athlete and the healthcare provider. It’s a great tool that should be recommended to athletes by primary care physicians, sports team staff, and coaches.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Easy to use and navigate.

  • Multimedia Usage

    Serves its basic function with little use of various multimedia usage.

  • Price

    $0.99

  • Real World Applicability

    Great tool for athletes, parents, and healthcare providers to track post-concussion recovery.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 5

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad