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Sports Applications Technology

New iPad App Helps Predict Sports Injuries Before They Happen

June 07, 2012

(SPORTS TECHNOLOGY)

Think about this: what if you could predict an injury before it even happened?

A professor at High Point University (HPU), in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, has developed web-based software and an application for the iPad that may do just that to help coaches predict sports injuries in players before the injuries occur.

Dr. Eric Hegedus, founding chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences at High Point University, in conjunction with HPU’s I.T. Department, has developed the Targeted Enhanced Athletic Movement (T.E.A.M.) Screen App, which puts athletes through fifteen routine tests that coaches, athletic trainers and physical therapists often use, according to a press release. The application then translates the findings from each test into hard data that may predict what type of injury the athlete is most likely to develop in the future.

“For example, we have found that if throwing athletes have an asymmetrical lunge test, we know that means they tend to have shoulder pain,” Hegedus said in the press release. “For a baseball player, that means something, and it allows us to begin a plan to prevent that pain from ever occurring.”

In the past, this data was all done by hand, collected on paper, which took a lot of time and resources and left the door open for human error. The app streamlines the assessment and data processing time, he says.

As Kelly Herdrich notes at yahoo.com, some sports injuries can be career-ending, and in extreme cases, deadly. Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities make up 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States. And it’s been brought to everyone’s attention that those concussions football players and others get routinely may end up resulting in dementia as they age. And here’s another startling fact: most injuries (62 percent) occur at practice!

Injuries from basketball numbered 680,307 in 2001, while those from football, 413,620, and baseball, 170,902, with softball not too far behind, with over 118,000, according to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, as reported by the National Center for Sports Safety.




Edited by Brooke Neuman