The HIA (Head Injury Assessment) is used to assess the severity of head injuries. These injuries are widespread in sport, and can have dramatic consequences: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, but also impaired memory and concentration, and even dementia.
Many sports are concerned by the risk of concussion: horse riding, cycling, sliding sports, combat sports, ice hockey and rugby. It’s a global public health issue: in France, no fewer than 5 million athletes (professionals, amateurs and young people) face this risk. In Europe and the United States, this figure represents 100 million sportsmen and women.
What is the HIA protocol?
Concussions are a frequent injury, particularly in rugby: they account for 29% of injuries to elite English male players, according to the RFU (English Rugby Union). The same study puts the figure at 22.2 concussions per 1,000 hours of play.
With this in mind, World Rugby, the international governing body for rugby union and rugby 7s, introduced the HIA protocol, or Head Injury Assessment Protocol. It’s a three-stage protocol designed to identify, diagnose and manage head impacts at risk of concussion.
To meet World Rugby’s requirements for protecting players’ health, VOGO has joined forces with the LNR (Ligue Nationale de Rugby), the FFR, the EPCR and Rugby Europe to offer video assistance as part of the HIA protocol.
The 3 stages of the HIA protocol
The first stage of the HIA protocol (HIA 1) identifies head impacts at risk of concussion, either live or via video analysis. Players showing obvious signs of concussion are immediately removed from the field. If concussion is suspected but the player has no symptoms, a clinical examination is carried out off the pitch. The SCAT 5 (Sports Concussion Assessment Tool) assesses symptoms such as memory and balance, in addition to video analysis of the impact.
The second stage, HIA 2, identifies concussions with immediate expression. Players undergo a medical examination within 3 hours of the end of the match, and are assessed using the SCAT 5.
Finally, the third stage, HIA 3, identifies concussions with delayed expression. Further medical examinations are carried out between 36 and 48 hours after impact. Here, the assessment combines the SCAT 5 and a neurocognitive computer tool.
VOGO gets involved to help detect concussions
VOGO is involved in the HIA protocol, in partnership with the LNR (Ligue Nationale de Rugby), the FFR (Fédération Française de Rugby), the EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) and Rugby Europe, to offer video assistance. VOGO is also a major player in Diaginsport, a consortium dedicated to health in sport that brings together experts in concussion, with the aim of improving detection and management of concussions, in addition to existing protocols.
VOGO solutions for the HIA protocol
VOGOSPORT STAFF is the HIA protocol solution chosen by the NRL, FFR, EPCR in France and Rugby Europe for medical teams. The match doctor has a ruggedized tablet equipped with the VOGOSPORT STAFF solution at the edge of the pitch, enabling him to review actions and shocks in particular from all angles of view of the TV cameras. On this basis, it can tag relevant actions and decide whether to remove a player for a proven concussion, or trigger an HIA protocol.
In this case, he has 12 minutes to take the player to the HIA room for the SCAT V tests. In this room, he has access to a VOGOSPORT touch screen, on which he can find the tags placed on the tablet and share the images with the player, during the HIA 1 and HIA 2 protocols. 2. It can also produce clips of the action, for use in the HIA 3. All images recorded during matches are also transferred to a dedicated Cloud, allowing files to be tracked.
The VOGOSPORT STAFF solution is also available in a bundle combining our two audio and video solutions in one system: the VOGO STAFF BUNDLE. Thanks to the VOKKERO STAFF audio communication system, in addition to having full access to match images, medical teams and staff have access to hands-free, instant and secure communication.
It’s the ideal tool to help medical teams supervise and diagnose concussions, visualize shocks and injuries, and ensure fast, clear communication between doctors. VOKKERO STAFF is very useful, for example, when there’s a match doctor on the pitch and a video doctor in the HIA room. VOKKERO devices enable them to communicate and interact before, during and after HIA protocols.
Deploying VOGO solutions in rugby leagues
Since the 2017-2018 season, VOGO has equipped all TOP14 and Pro-D2 clubs with its VOGOSPORT STAFF solution. This live and replay video solution is favored by the French National Rugby League (LNR) for match doctors, team doctors and medical video supervisors.
The VOGOSPORT solution is also deployed by VOGO at all European Cup matches (Champions Cup and Challenge Cup) organized by the EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) that take place in France, as well as at Autumn Tour and 6 Nations matches played in France since 2017, in partnership with the FFR (French Rugby Federation).
VOGO’s solutions, VOGOSPORT STAFF and VOKKERO STAFF, are also deployed in Spain, thanks to a partnership with the Spanish Rugby Federation (the Catalan Dragons). These same solutions were also deployed for the Rugby World Cup 2022. Other sports federations have also adopted VOGO solutions, including the French Judo Federation and the French Football Federation.
And since the end of 2020, Rugby Europe, the European Rugby Federation, has chosen VOGO to implement video refereeing (TMO) and the HIA protocol. In August 2023, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) renewed its contract with VOGO for a further 4 seasons.