The equipment, called ThermaHelm, has an inbuilt device that acts like an instant ice pack after a sudden impact.
The 299-pound carbon fibre helmet that cools the brain soon after an accident is believed to reduce the risk of long-term brain damage and save lives, claimed its inventor and motorcycling enthusiast Jullian Preston Powers.
Preston Powers, who spent two years in developing the helmet at the Sussex Innovation Centre in Brighton, said he was planning to launch it in May. “Companies all over the world are banging down our doors to get hold of it when it’s launched this year,” he said.
Preston Powers said he was inspired to design the helmet after sustaining an injury during a basketball game.
“I had been playing basketball with a friend and I had smashed my elbow on his head. Someone handed us both ice-packs for our injuries and it was so cold I couldn’t hold it for very long,” he said.
Preston Powers said: “So I placed it in my friend’s motorcycle helmet and he accidentally put it on while the pack was inside. He was surprised by how good it felt and that’s when I had that ‘eureka’ moment.”
The helmet contains two lightweight chemical packs, which are built into the helmet lining. One pack contains water, the other ammonium nitrate. A sudden impact causes the two to mix and trigger a “cooling” reaction.
This reaction lasts up to 45 minutes, stabilising the temperature of the brain and improving the victim’s chances of survival. Preston Powers said: “This is a hugely exciting innovation that has the potential to save thousands of lives around the world every year.”