Pats to take part in medical records program

The Patriots will be one of eight NFL teams to take part in a pilot program during the 2013 season in which a player's entire medical record will be available for team doctors to examine on the sideline of a game via the use of an iPad, according to Tom Pelissero » of USA Today Sports.

The new technology is part of a push to improve concussion testing and safety for NFL players, an issue the NFL has treated very seriously.

James Bradley, the chairman of the league's medical research committee and Steelers orthopedic surgeon, spoke to Pelissero on the value of the program.

"If we can just sit him down and say, 'Look, here's your balance test and your cognitive skills, your memory, your reaction time.' Now they've got a visual of that, which is a very positive step forward with the players accepting that they have an issue and wanting to get it resolved," he said.

Another benefit of the program, as told to Pelissero by Matthew Matava, the president of the NFL physicians society and head team physician for the Rams, is that a player's medical record will be easily transferred from one team to another, something that could happen as soon as the beginning of next year.

"Let's say he starts out with the Rams, and then he's either cut or traded or leaves as a free agent, goes to the Denver Broncos, then the information will be portable," said Matava. "The Denver doctors will then have any information that was accrued while he was in St. Louis.

Like any other electronic medical record, it will be portable with the player and therefore very accurate."