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Local researcher helped develop Q-Collar device that Eagles running back will be wearing in Super Bowl

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Another NFL season will come to an end on Sunday, but the persisting problem of concussions is an issue the league will continue to deal with after this year’s Super Bowl champion is crowned.

Some players looking for a new way to protect their brains from impact sustained in games and practice sessions have started wearing the Q-Collar, a novel device that has been on the market in America for a little over a year.

Katie Kitchen Beasley

Initial research that helped develop the Q-Collar was conducted by a group at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that included Katie Kitchen Beasley, a former Thomas More University women’s basketball player who now serves as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

“I knew when we were doing the research that it was going to be ground breaking in terms of protecting the brains of the people who receive the most impact, so seeing that it has been shown to be beneficial is pretty cool,” said Beasley, who lives in Hebron.

The Q-Collar is a lightweight C-shaped device that’s worn around the neck. Both ends apply light pressure to the jugular vein to increase blood flow around the brain. That provides a cushion that lessens the impact from blows to the head.

Beasley took part in a feasibility study for the device from 2015 to 2017 with two Cincinnati high school football teams. She kept track of helmet sensors used to collect impact data on one group of players that wore a prototype Q-Collar and another group that did not.

The Q-Collar applies light pressure to the jugular vein to increase blood flow around the brain that lessens the impact from blows to the head.

“I went to the schools sometimes in the morning before practice and sometimes in the afternoon after practice,” she said. “I was always taking out the force tracker sensors in their helmets and making sure all that data was being uploaded day to day and doing the entry tracking.”

That was one of several clinical trials conducted at research and medical facilities all around the country that supported the effectiveness of the Q-Collar in shielding the brain from repetitive head impacts.

In February of 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing of the device. It’s sold online for $199 and is being used by college and professional athletes in several sports, according to the Q30 Innovations website.

“I hope it continues to be revolutionized to where all the people who want to can wear the Q30 Collar and have access to it,” said Beasley, who began working as a research assistant one year after graduating from college. 

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott started wearing a Q-Collar this season. (Photo from team website)

One of the NFL players that has been wearing a Q-Collar this season is Boston Scott, a running back for the Philadelphia Eagles that will be going up against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

In an interview posted on the Q30 Innovations website, Scott said he wants to be a front-runner in using whatever will help football players prevent concussions that can cause serious brain damage.

“I just feel that whatever I can do to help guys that are coming behind me be in a better position than the guys who came before me, I’m all about that,” Scott said.

Five years have passed since Beasley worked on the feasibility study for the Q-Collar. She’s now involved in another Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center research project to relieve migraine headaches in children.  

But there’s a good chance she’ll be reminded of her past work with the device if Scott is shown wearing a Q-Collar during the national television coverage of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“Friends and family of mine that know I was involved in it will still send me pictures of athletes wearing it,” Beasley said. “It’s pretty cool to see it come full circle.”

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