Info-tech

Injury-prone sportspersons can just app it now

Updated on: Oct 26, 2015
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SAP’s sensor-based predictive tech can tell when the risk of sports injury is high

The fear of being benched or having to retire prematurely from a thriving career owing to injury is a fear every athlete is forced to live with for a large part of his or her professional life. But there is now an app for teams and players to reduce the possibility of getting injured.

German software giant SAP has introduced an application known as the Injury Risk Monitor (IRM), that runs on SAP’s HANA cloud platform, which can reduce the risk of sports injuries. The program gathers data such as the athlete’s heart rate, respiratory rate, and distance travelled during training – measured using wearable and non-wearable devices during training sessions, physical fitness tests and matches.

Recording fitness levels The system also takes into account and records the players’ fitness levels based on their diet, fitness regime and injury history, before applying a predictive mathematical formula to calculate if there is a likelihood of an injury taking place. The data then translate into inferences, providing simple visualisations in the form of pie charts and graphs for coaches and medical practitioners, enabling them to zero in on problem areas, identify and collaborate to reduce risk.

The SAP Asia-Pacific Japan Media Summit gave mediapersons a live demonstration of the IRM technology at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel last week. Singapore soccer team Home United’s goalkeeper Zulfairuuz Rudy, who wore a sensory vest under his jersey, performed several football drills. The data captured from this exercise were immediately recorded and projected on screen.

Speaking at the event, Dirk Schauenberg, Head of Sports Performance, Home United football club, explained: “The technology allows coaches to track the physiological state of their players.”

They can now customise their players’ training regimes to improve their performance, and ultimately, that of the whole team’s. Such real-time use of data is new, and is extremely useful, he added.

Tracking tech Sports physician Roger Tian, medical director at the Singapore Sports Medicine Centre, said that around 70 per cent of injuries occur from overuse of muscles. When it comes to professional athletes, there are many important signs this technology can help us predict if athletes are pushing themselves too hard, or too little, he added.

While there has been a lot of interest expressed by cricket, baseball and football associations, Puneet Suppal, Solution Strategy and Adoption executive at SAP, stated that a time-frame for the release of the application to the market is still being considered.

The writer was in Singapore at the invitation of SAP.

Published on January 23, 2018

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