Crash helmet reduces brain swelling with coolant

Original Article: I’m not a motorcyclist, although I am working on it, but this brain-cooling idea from Jullian Preston-Powers looks interesting: a motorcycle helmet with built-in compartments of water and ammonium nitrate. The compartments break on impact of an accident, causing a cooling reaction when the chemicals mix that is said to reduce critical swelling.

The cooling is designed to reduce swelling following a head injury and to stabilise the brain’s temperature. Jullian says he got the idea following a basketball game where he was given an ice-pack after injuring his elbow by smacking it against his friend’s head! He couldn’t hold the ice pack for long so put it in his friend’s motorcycle helmet, which his friend accidentally put on with the pack still in place and found it made his head feel much better.

Will this save lives? Opinion seems divided if the comments on various reporting sites are any indication. I can’t claim specialist knowledge myself, but the innovation angle really tick’s my geek box. It’s great to see people revisiting tried and tested technologies in an attempt to make them even better. Continuous improvement can do wonders if it’s applied well — take the Beetle for example.

If you’re going to convince your beloved that you need a new helmet, you may want to note the price. The initial version will cost £299 and be available in May of this year, with a more advanced version sporting a camera and Bluetooth connection coming in at £499 and being planned for a July launch.

There’s no denying these things are pricey, but if they really do improve the odds of survival after an accident, as well as alleviate these fears for our loved ones, perhaps they are worth the price.

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