Concussion concerns: Cleveland Clinic using special app to keep athletes safe

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CLEVELAND -- It's one of the most intensely-debated topics in football: what to do about concussions. Three-million concussions are diagnosed across the country each year.

The Cleveland Clinic is studying it closely and monitoring athletes with a special app aimed at keeping them safe.

Friday, young players at the Western Reserve Football League were having their balance tested and monitored -- this is for coaches and people of science trying to keep kids safe on the field.

"I think anything you can do to promote safety. It also gets in your mind that to play smart you have to take care of your body and your head is the most important part of that," said Doug Liebler, coach.

That's where the iPads come in. The players answer questions; their questions are stored and, along with the balance testing, it gives the medical folks baseline information about the young athletes.

Then, if there is an injury, they don't return to action unless and until all the measurements are right where they are supposed to be.

"Well,  in the event they do suffer an injury, it will provide them with means that most young athletes don't have and it provides them with these measurements on their progressions so we can safely return them to the field," said Jason Cruikshank with the Cleveland Clinic.

The Clinic's C3 app keeps getting redefined. It's the only one like it in the country. It measures cognitive function, balance, reaction time, and much more.

Coaches are now teaching techniques aimed at keeping their players safe, and concerned parents are reassured there is so much focus being placed on the health of their children.

Technology is here to keep the game safer.  "These baseline tests are absolutely critical and it is a wonderful tool and we're just really happy the parents are seeing the value in it and participating," said Walter Madison, Western Reserve youth football director.

He senses participation in his league picking up already. Here is an idea of how popular this Cleveland Clinic app is: 100,000 player assessments have been done worldwide. We're talking hundred of colleges, high schools and youth organizations.

**More stories on concussions, here**