TECHNOLOGIST: ‘The Sports Revolution, Ending the Pain’
Online, 4 July 2016
Excerpt from the article:
When a highly paid professional athlete is out of action, the bills quickly add up. According to the Global Sports Salaries Survey, injuries in the top professional leagues cost football teams worldwide an average of $12.4 million per year. The most common mishaps involve knees, shoulders, elbows and ankles, explains Andreas Imhoff, head of the Sports Orthopaedics Department from the hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich.
Sometimes an injury develops slowly, through incorrect movements. Gait Up, a Swiss spin-off of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), has developed a movement tracker to help prevent this. The athlete wears a matchbox-size plastic box weighing just a few grams on his shoes or chest. The tracker’s numerous sensors then record movement patterns. Using analysis software, a trainer can identify errors in these patterns. In theory, it can also work in real time. “We’re planning to adapt it so that marathon- runners can identify errors in their running style during the race itself,” said Benoit Mariani, founder and CEO of Gait Up. “We’ve also used movement analysis on skiers, swimmers and players of team sports.” Several scientific studies have shown that this approach can reduce the risk of injury.