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Technology and Sports Medicine

With so many advances in technology in the past 5 years its hard to keep up with everything. What I have noticed as of late is all of the technology that has benefits or crossover in sports medicine.

The HALO goniometer
Goniometry is a staple in the clinic and the Athletic Training room as it gives the clinician the ability to obtain objective measurements to view a patients progress. The downside to them is they are out of date, clunky, and very dependent on the user. Well the company HALO has come out with a goniometer that is completely digital, easy to read, and most importantly fast and easy to use.

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Athos Wearable gear
Surface EMG's are a great way to provide instant feedback to a patient when trying to correct faults and re-educate muscles however, they don't save the information very well, there are wires all over the place and most importantly, they are expensive. Introducing Athos gear, EMG sensors woven into compression clothing that measure muscle activity and heart rate wireless through bluetooth to your mobile device. Now you have access to technology that is accurate and recordable during activity that you can watch in real time or playback so you can find out where the break down occurred during the activity or activities your patients and athletes are doing.

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Kinesiowear
Now we all have heard of kinesiotape and most of us have used it. How about the same principles applied to something that is wearable and doesn't fall off the moment the athlete sweats. This would be ideal right? This is where Kinesiowear is coming into play it will be designed to mimic the motions of the muscles it is placed on to provide the benefits of kinesiotape but longer and accurate.

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3d Printers in sports medicine
With 3d printing on the rise they are building everything from wrenches to prefabricated homes with 3d printing. For our purposes as individuals involved in sports medicine there are new ways that 3d printing is making the lives of ours patients better. Such as 3d printed casts or MRI images. This saves on time, cost, and for the patient the irritation of wearing a big clunky cast. In the case of the 3d printed MRI it provides valuable information for the physician as it gives them a clear view of how much damage has been done to the patients extremity before surgery or as they develop more and more biomaterials 3d printed cartilage may be available sooner rather than later.

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Exoskeletons
And last but not least the use of battery operated exoskeletons to aid and assist patients who have neurological disorders or have been paralyzed. While most of us will never deal with these types of patients, there are still other applications to this technology imagine ankle braces or knee braces that assist you like the ankle assist that was developed in Japan that assists the ankle dorsiflex as you walk with a normal stride.

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What do you think technology can do to further benefit us as professionals and benefit our patients as well? Is there anything else out there you have seen that you have found fascinating or innovative?
Audric Warren MS, ATC, CAFS, NASM-PES, NASM-CES

Comments

  • Great topic Audric! There is so much technology to help us out in what we do! It is crazy all the tools we have to measure things in real time that were once only available in a lab setting!

    Some other good ones are:

    Omegawave- http://www.omegawave.com which measures training, CNS, cardiac, and metabolic readiness.

    Catapult- http://www.catapultsports.com/about Complete sports and training analytic system that can help to identify injury risk, training readiness, and return to play.

    Dartfish and Kinesiocapture- for quick easy biomechanics analysis and video capture.

    CORE app- Clinical Orthopedic Exam App, has tons of clinical tests with specificity and sensitivity included that allows you to accurately chose the best test to assess injury. Each test also have a video of how to as well.
    Anna J. Hartman MS, ATC, CSCS, PMA-CPT
    www.movementrev.com
  • Anna

    Thanks for all the awesome technology you shared. I recently heard about the capatult technology but didnt know that name of it so thanks again for suppying that information. I heard they are going to start trying to introduce this into professional sports competitions. More so, for gamifying them not so much for injury prevention and performance but a gimmick. But that technology would be such a great tool to get athletes to use.

    I am really fascinated with the omegawave. As a sports performance professional that takes training athletes to a different level by having all of that information to keep track of and maximize periodization. As a clinician it makes reducing the rate of injury and or tracking the potential of injury more objective. The biggest problem with any of this , in my opinion, are the old school coaches as they mentioned in the catapult "about" section. The ones who make statements that "Michael Jordan didn't have this and he did alright". Imagine a Michael Jordan, a Walter Payton, Wayne Gretzky, or a Bo Jackson using these tools during training or practice. Thats a scary thought of what these elite athletes already accomplished and to see how much further ahead of the curve they could have been. If you know of anything else off the top of your head please feel free to share.

    Have you used any of these resources?
    Audric Warren MS, ATC, CAFS, NASM-PES, NASM-CES
  • Hi Audric,

    At my previous job we used many of these technologies to collect data on our athletes and to help companies and teams answer certain questions. At this point though my experience directly with athlete health injury, prevention etc is limited.

    Omegawave has come a long way and made there app way more user friendly over the years, so that is one personally that I would start with.

    Catapult has so much potential, depending on what question you are asking and what you use the data for. Really with all these technologies, if you don't use the data you collect in a smart way it is useless.

    Here are a couple articles that came out recently about using analytics and a podcast with Patrick Ward who does analytics for the Seattle Seahawks.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/moneyball-20-keeping-players-healthy/2015/08/24/5011ac54-48e6-11e5-9f53-d1e3ddfd0cda_story.html

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2555624-preseason-acl-injures-can-be-drastically-reduced-heres-how

    http://strengthcoachpodcast.typepad.com/the_strength_coach_podcas/2015/07/pat-ward-seattle-seahawks-sports-science-analyst-mike-boyle-brett-jones-danielle-lafata-rachel-cosgr.html

    -Anna
    Anna J. Hartman MS, ATC, CSCS, PMA-CPT
    www.movementrev.com
  • Wow awesome info on new tech great to see what's out there
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