Meet the Company with the mission “Leading the World to Safer Helmets”; Interview with Peter Halldin, co-founder of Mips.

Helmet Company

Most Aren’t Aware of the Primary Cause of Concussions, Rotational Motion; Meet the Helmet Company Working to Change That. Mips specializes in helmet-based safety and brain protection with its Mips® safety system for helmets, and hard hats. Peter Halldin, co-founder and Chief Science Officer will be sharing more details with us in this interview with TechBullion.

Please tell us more about yourself?

My name is Peter Halldin and I’m the co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Mips. When I co-founded Mips, I had just completed my doctorate in biomechanics from the Royal Technical University of Stockholm on the prevention and prediction of head and neck injuries in traffic accidents. I’ve served as an assistant professor there since 2001. Additionally, I’ve been a delegate of the European Commission for Standardization on head protection since 2012.

What is Mips and what unique products do you provide?

Mips is a company that specializes in helmet-based safety. A world-leader in this area, Mips is an ingredient brand that sells its products to helmet manufacturers who implement our technology. Our solution, the Mips® safety system, is patented in all relevant markets and based on over 25 years of research and development in collaboration with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden.

What are the primary causes of concussions and traumatic brain injuries? Could you enlighten us more on this?

A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Concussions can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a fall or blow to the body that causes the head to rotate.

Mips specializes in helmet-based safety with the Mips® safety system for helmets and hard hats. Can you tell us more about how this works?

Mips, which stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, provides the Mips® safety system. Designed to provide added safety for helmets in many accidents, the Mips® safety system is intended to reduce harmful rotational motion that might be otherwise transferred to the user’s head for certain impacts. 

Rotational motion is a combination of rotational energy, angular velocity, and rotational forces, from angular acceleration. Rotational motion can result in shearing and/or stretching of the brain tissue, which impacts the brain and increases risk of brain injuries from impact. 

The main component of the Mips® safety system is the low friction layer. This imitates the brain’s own protection system of cerebrospinal fluid and enables a relative motion between the head and helmet. 

Studies have shown that head and neck injuries occur even when someone is wearing a helmet; Why is this so?

Every crash is unique and includes many different variables, so this depends on the individual helmet and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Historically, helmets have been designed to protect the head against linear motion, which most helmets today do quite well. This is mirrored in current regulatory certification standards. Yet oblique impact is a far more common accident scenario, and most regulatory standards do not certify helmets against those types of impacts. Research shows that the human brain is more sensitive to rotational motion than linear motion. It’s important to keep in mind that standards with or without a rotational test is a minimum requirement. So, even if a helmet is certified you can still get injured.

What factors should one consider when choosing the right helmet for themself?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a helmet, including rotational motion, comfort and fit, safety certifications and style. 

FromAt Mips, we always say that the most important step is to wear a helmet that is, firmly attached to your head. Then we can choose helmets with safety features that addresses the different energies that the head could be subjected to. So, tTherefore, check that the helmet is equipped with rotational mitigating system such as the Mips® safety system that’s intended to reduce rotational motion to the head during certain angled impacts. 

Helmets are worn for long periods of time, so making sure that it’s comfortable will guarantee that wearers enjoy using their helmet, and keep it on during work activities. 

Additionally, most helmets available to consumers are required to meet certain safety requirements. It’s best to check that helmets are up to date with the latest regulations. 

Last but not least, consider the brand and style. There are plenty of great options available. Choose one from a trusted brand, with a style that’s comfortable and enjoyable to wear. 

Prioritizing safety in the workplace is critical, particularly for the construction industry. Why does this industry need to prioritize workplace safety? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 64,362 traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020 alone. In the United States, the construction industry has more TBI’s than any other industry. In the construction industry, falls from roofs, scaffolding or ladders are responsible for the majority of TBIs, in addition to vehicle accidents, and contact with equipment. Key to keeping construction workers safe is having the appropriate equipment, and helmets, for workers. 

What are you currently working on and what is next on your roadmap? Is there anything you can share today?

At Mips, our mission is leading the world to safer helmets. Since the start, we have since the start tried to understand the real accident situation for different helmet segments. This work is a continuous work and we can always learn more about the brain and the real-life accidents. And by that being said, we’re constantly working to develop new solutions to advance helmet-based safety.

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