The Full-Body Suit That Will Tell Paralympians When They're Hurt

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 20 2014 12:02 PM

The Full-Body Suit That Will Tell Paralympians When They're Hurt

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One of the more problematic issues for Paralympic athletes—aka the most impressive human beings on the planet—is recognizing an injury to parts of the body where they have lost all sensation. A compound fracture or a deep bruise is one thing, but serious, internal injuries? They're almost impossible to diagnose without the close inspection of a doctor. That failure to realize when seriously injured can extend rehab processes and take athletes out of their respective sports for longer than necessary—it can also be extraordinarily dangerous.

Enter four students from the Imperial College of London, whose innovative "bruise suit" could be a game changer for Paralympic sports as a whole.

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According to Wired UK, the Spandex-like suit is filled with type of film developed by Fuji that is pressure-sensitive, and changes color based on the strength of compressions. So, basically—and hypothetically— the more severe an injury, the darker the film gets. The pattern of the color shift in the film is also taken into account, as that differentiation can, apparently, help trainers and doctors determine the specific type of injury, in addition to the severity of the hit.

The suit is still in the concept phase, but with any luck—and after further testing—it will eventually hang in Paralympic lockers around the world. Watch the video above for a demonstration of all that the bruise suit might have to offer the most fearless of competitors.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

A.J. McCarthy is a Slate Video blogger.