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How Wearable Tech Is Changing Sports Medicine (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Last summer we touched on how apps, fitness watches and other wearables are changing the way we approach our health. From tracking personal milestones to competing with friends and family, wearables have had a positive impact on how we approach our health.

An infographic from Ohio University provides a fresh look at wearables and the intersection of sports and technology from a coaching perspective. This fascinating report (see below) looks into how technology can help coaches monitor athletes’ training regimens, performance and recovery.

Recent Notable Moments In Sports Tech

  • “In 2009,” reports Ohio University, “European soccer clubs were some of the first to utilize wearable technologies to measure a player’s overall workload.”
  • In 2014, Louis Van Gaal used Google Glass and Oculus Rift at the World Cup to show his players match situations from a different perspective.

Did You Know…

  • NFL players have an RFID sensor embedded into their pads? Sensors record data throughout gameplay, sending data to 20 receivers around the stadium.
  • There are devices capable of tracking over 100 metrics on an athlete, including speed, acceleration, distance and heart rate. Data is available in real-time for coaches and health care providers.

Injury Prevention: How the Raptors & Seminoles Benefited

  • Devices can detect when basketball players are leaning a certain way or favoring one side over the other (possible early indicators of injury).
  • Two seasons ago, the Raptors were among the most injured teams in the NBA in terms of games lost. After adopting the injury detection technology, they were among the least-injured teams in the NBA.
  • Using the same technology, the 2013 champion Florida State Seminoles saw an 88% reduction in soft tissue injuries among their football players.

What Can We Expect In the Future?

  • GPS devices built into the fabric of running shirts
  • Wearables that can measure hydration
  • Shift to more focused problems, including rehabilitation and more specific injury-prevention tactics
  • Improvements in speed, accuracy and comfort

Changing the Realm of Possibilities

There’s no doubt, wearables and the rapid developments coming out of Silicon Valley and elsewhere will change the nature of sports. Of course, trainers, physicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers have been helping athletes boost their performance for decades already. Perhaps wearables will foster safer and more effective training and performance in the future.

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

Learn more about how you can improve your safety and performance. Schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546, or schedule online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.