7 March, 2019
Is your brain really protected?
Folksam Insurance Group has just released the following news containing the results of a consumer test of 14 common ski helmets in Sweden. The test shows that only three of these helmets protect well against concussions. They were awarded Folksam’s ‘Best in Test’ or ‘Good Choice’ label.
MIPS, Swedish brain safety technology company, has been leading the way in helmet and brain safety with over 20 years of research. The MIPS-patented Brain Protection System (BPS) is designed to reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain from angled impacts to the head, keeping people safer in the outdoors, from casual beginners to professional athletes.
In a crash, the forces to the human head can be divided into radial and tangential forces. Te sting for radial forces mostly demonstrates a helmet’s ability to protect the head from skull fracture, while testing for tangential forces demonstrates a helmet’s ability to prevent potential brain injuries such as diffuse axonal injury, subdural hematoma, and concussion. Currently, most helmet testing for consumers is focused on radial forces, excluding tangential forces.
The rotational motion caused by these tangential forces is precisely what MIPS is designed to address. The MIPS technology activates 10-15mm movement in any direction under heavy load in less than 10 milliseconds following an impact, reducing the tearing effects on the brain resulting from rotational motion.
Amongst helmet brands, a couple of systems have come to market over the years that claim to address rotational motion and reduce strain on the brain in certain impacts. MIPS are conducting extensive testing to see how others have solved this problem and so far the findings indicate that, according to how MIPS and other leading test institutes in the world test for rotational motion, they do not reduce this damaging motion to a sufficient degree. While MIPS has done a great deal of testing on thousands of helmets, the concern is less about the accuracy of the claims being made and more that there is not an industry-wide standard from third party testing organizations.
“We at MIPS have conducted more than 22,000 tests and we know that not all helmets are equally safe, not even the ones that claims to address rotational motion”, says Johan Thiel, CEO of MIPS. “Right now, almost anyone can claim that their helmet is reducing rotational motion because there is no standard they have to meet. This is serious and concerning for the users who think they are buying a helmet with added protection.”Thiel continues “We welcome a vigorous scientific debate on all aspects of rotational motion solutions, because it needs to be a standard in place to protect the user.”
MIPS has conducted more than 22,000 tests in their state-of-the-art test lab in Sweden. MIPS’ own Dr. Peter Halldin, with Dr. Hans von Holst, has authored several academic papers on helmet impact biomechanics since 1996. Splitting his time between MIPS AB and KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm), Halldin is also the convener for one of the working groups within CEN TC158, the entity that will recommend a new rotational motion test standard for consumer sports helmets. It is MIPS’ sincere hope that other governing bodies will follow that good initiative. Over the years there have been more than 13 third party tests conducted by insurance companies, universities and organisations that have incorporated the rotational motion test method, but no standard has been set yet.
The results of two of the latest tests can be found here;
- 50 bike helmets tested and ranked by Virginia Tech – results are located here.
- In Europe, the Swedish Folksam InsuranceGroup has just released a report containing the results of a consumer test of 14 commonski helmets in Sweden. To see the full Folksamreport, please click here.
While MIPS is concerned at the level of testing and messaging employed by distinguished helmet brands, MIPS remains committed to continuing to apply 20+ years of expertise and research in the field of brain science, both in the MIPS technology and in leading others towards new standards of safety and protection. MIPS are convinced that, with more rigorous testing, consumers can be more accurately informed about helmet safety and better understand what makes one helmet safer than others.
Marcus Lindgren, MIPS, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 70 111 21 21 (EU)
Greg Fisher, TRUE Communications, email@example.com, +1 707 495 3756 (US)
MIPS Brain Protection System (BPS) is sold to the global helmet industry. MIPS solutions are patented in allrelevant markets and are based on more than 20 years of research and development together with the RoyalInstitute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. MIPS is the world leader in this field and cooperates with 78 helmet brands that offer 448 models equipped with MIPS BPS on the global helmet market. The company’s headquarters, with 26 employees in research and development, sales, marketing and administration is located in Stockholm together with the test facility. For more information, visit mipsprotection.com.