Technology is drastically changing the sports industry from how games are refereed to how marketers reach their audiences, and in many more exciting ways. What’s even more exciting is the rapid growth of the field of sports medicine. According to the Sports Medicine Market report by MarketsandMarkets, the sports medicine market will be worth $8.3 billion by 2020.
Companies are focusing on a list of top concerns, such as injury prevention, recovery process, and concussion management and there is a lot of money behind research and development. Organizations like BrainCheck, which raised $3 million in seed funding, are leading in research and development of technologies that target specific problems.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important medical devices changing sports medicine today:
Consumers can bring their physical therapy home with them. Valedo’s latest device gamifies back therapy. The selection of over 50 exercises is performed through a video game format, making it fun and engaging. Sensors record how well the user performs therapeutic exercises.
Also, the Valedo App conveniently tracks performance and progress, checks for accuracy, and even shares your information with your physical therapist. This way, you’re getting immediate feedback and you can make the most out of your rehab.
This is a great leap forward because it empowers amateur and hobby athletes to engage in an exercise program at home that manages back pain using gamification. This follows the popular trend of using wearable technology with fitness and physical health.
Accenture’s 2016 Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement found that 77 percent of the 8,000 respondents surveyed said using wearables makes them feel more engaged with their health. When they are more engaged, their recovery is faster and they can more easily manage their pain.
It’s no secret that football players can experience severe health issues from head injuries. One of the most common and more debilitating effects from head injuries is chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It’s a degenerative disease that causes disorientation, dizziness, and headaches as well as problems focusing. As it becomes more advanced, the patient suffers from social instability, memory loss, erratic behavior, dementia, and even suicidal ideation.
These medical insights motivate companies like Vicis to develop better head protection. Their redesigned football helmet is meant to reduce the rotational and linear impact forces. Football players will benefit from the advanced multiple layers of protection.
The outer layer of protection, the Lode Shell, absorbs impact with local deformation. Then the Rflx Layer reduces linear and rotational forces. Underneath that, the Arch Shell helps determine the perfect fit for various head sizes, and the Form Liner uses foams and waterproof textiles to distribute pressure uniformly.
The company even created the Vicis Coalition to lead a movement aimed at improving safety measures in all sports. Famous athletes like Richard Sherman and Jerry Rice are some of the most popular members leading this group of coaches, players, doctors, and other passionate individuals looking to ensure that kids can play their favorite sports safely. These kinds of innovations make a huge impact for all those working in football and other contact sports.
This knee brace is so much more than what it looks like. It’s perfect for knee rehab, integrating muscle activation with post-op bracing. The QB1 speeds up quad atrophy recovery for those who have recently undergone knee surgery.
Knee injuries sideline thousands of athletes and are one of the most common sports injuries. So devices that help patients recover quickly are incredibly valuable.
The muscle stimulation is highly targeted. While the controlled hinge on the brace reduces movement, the conductive garment uses electrodes to deliver muscle activation signals precisely where they need to go. This technology accelerates rehab, getting athletes back on the field quicker.
Clinicians are taking advantage of this new technology to help athletes undergo cartilage therapy in a faster, more efficient way. AlloSource created ProChondrix, which is a cellular 3D fresh osteochondral allograft that delivers live cells and other biological components to help repair and regenerate damaged cartilage tissues.
This tool is helping surgeons and doctors fix sutures and soft tissue. Athletes can make a faster recovery from injury thanks to this implant. Stryker’s SonicFusion technology allows for interdigitation of the implant with surrounding bone structures. It’s the only anchor in the U.S. that uses ultrasonic energy to liquefy cancellous bone to ensure stable fixation.
Clinicians can make the most out of this new technology to speed up the recovery process for their patients. Vomaris Innovations Inc. created Procellera as the only antimicrobial wound dressing that uses microcurrent technology. It is designed to enhance the body’s natural electrical healing process. When athletes can speed up their skin injury recovery, they can get back to the field.
What other devices and technological advancements are changing sports medicine?