A University of Edinburgh PhD student from the United Kingdom has created a motorcycle helmet that uses an endothermic chemical reaction to self-cool upon impact. The company, Termahelm, will soon offer the ability to either buy a helmet directly from them or retrofit your current helmet with the cooling technology.
The website is misleading on the benefit of this technology in that it points to a multitude of studies investigating systemic hypothermia in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) where the entire patient is cooled for an extended period of time. That’s not what the helmet is doing and even if it were, whether or not this actually helps seems to still be an open question (see review). Also, the premise of the idea rests upon two assumptions: one, that prophylactic local hypothermia (icin’ the noggin’) leads to better severe head trauma outcomes. And two, that applying this therapy immediately, even before an ambulance arrives, has a clinical benefit.
That being said, it seems like a neat idea and leaves us with the obvious question: Can you activate it while riding on a hot summer day?
Product page: Thermahelm…
(hat tip: Gizmodo)