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The 2016 MedTech Boston 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovators


Ben Harvatine
Founder and CEO at Jolt
Ben HarvatineRecent news about NFL players suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has brought national attention to the risks associated with concussions sustained while playing sports. Amid growing concerns about the consequences of repeat concussions, many are searching for solutions to make contact sports safer for athletes.

No stranger to concussions himself, MIT alum Ben Harvatine has developed a device that monitors hard hits on the field and helps athletes make informed decisions about returning to play.

Harvatine conceived of the idea for the Jolt Sensor during his time as a college wrestler. In his junior year at MIT, he suffered a concussion at practice that resulted in memory loss and an arduous recovery. The following semester Harvatine was determined to build a product that would help other athletes avoid this experience.

“Even if the injury itself couldn’t have been prevented, I felt that the severity of it and the recovery process could have been significantly mitigated,” explained Harvatine. “So I put sensors on my wrestling headgear and went back to the mat to gather data.”

He developed the Jolt Sensor, a wearable sensor that measures head acceleration, characterizes impact, and gives real-time alerts to athletes and coaches. In its current iteration, the Jolt sensor is a clip-shaped device that can be attached to a variety of athletic headgear. It characterizes impacts over their entire acceleration curve, and, if it determines that the impact could potentially be associated with an injury, it vibrates on the player’s head and pushes an alert to a connected app via a custom version of Bluetooth that can send data over 200 yards.

The sensor is unique in that it captures data on impacts of all sizes, which allows athletes and coaches to have deeper insights about cumulative impacts on the field. “We don’t just focus on the moment of injury,” says Harvatine. “As it sees players accumulating smaller impacts, Jolt will spin those into an aggregate statistic so that coaches and trainers and parents have an easy way to track trends in their athlete’s general impact exposure, day to day, week to week, and month to month.”

You can read more about Ben Harvatine and the Jolt Sensor here.

MedTech Boston Staff

    Abigail Ballou, Alexandra David, Shreya Iyer and Casey Nugent contributed to this story.

    6 Comments

    1. Sraliceop@netscape says:

      Congratulations to Call9! I admire the motivation and purpose behind your work. May it enhance the Gift of Life for many people. And it all started with Al and Estelle! My best wishes and prayers!

      Alice Reichmeider, O.P.

    2. Chandra reddy says:

      Nina
      Way to go
      We are all so proud of you

    3. kusuma rao says:

      Hi Nina my name is KusumaRao classmate of your parents at MMC.i want you to know how proud i am of you not just the intelligence but the compassion for others at such an young age.To tell our own self for nthe good of others in not known in indian community. you made all of us feel good keepup the goodwork and God bless you love Kusuma aunty

    4. Dr. Harneet V Thakur says:

      Hi Anshuman,

      I am very proud of you and lucky to have you as my student. It was known during your M.tech project that you will shine. Many best wishes and congratulations. I wish you grand success in all your endevours.

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