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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 August;61(8):1061-72

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12752-5

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Wearable and telemedicine innovations for Olympic events and elite sport

Borja MUNIZ-PARDOS 1, Konstantinos ANGELOUDIS 2, Fergus M. GUPPY 2, 3, Iphigenia KERAMITSOGLOU 4, Shaun SUTEHALL 5, Andrew BOSCH 5, Kumpei TANISAWA 6, Yuri HOSOKAWA 6, Garrett I. ASH 7, 8, Wolfgang SCHOBERSBERGER 9, Andrew J. GRUNDSTEIN 10, Douglas J. CASA 11, Margaret C. MORRISSEY 11, Fumihiro YAMASAWA 12, Irina ZELENKOVA 1, Sébastien RACINAIS 13, Yannis PITSILADIS 2, 14, 15, 16

1GENUD Research Group, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain; 2 Center for Stress and Age-Related Disease, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK; 3 School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK; 4 National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece; 5 Division of Physiological Sciences, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; 6 Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan; 7 Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; 8 Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-morbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA; 9 Institute for Sports Medicine, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism (ISAG), Tirol Kliniken Innsbruck and Private University UMIT TIROL, Hall, Austria; 10 Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA; 11 Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA; 12 Marubeni Health Promotion Center, Tokyo, Japan; 13 Department and Research and Scientific Support, Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar; 14 International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS), Lausanne, Switzerland; 15 Center for Exercise Sciences and Sports Medicine, FIMS Collaborating Center of Sports Medicine, Rome, Italy; 16 European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations (EFSMA), Lausanne, Switzerland



Rapid advances in wearable technologies and real-time monitoring have resulted in major inroads in the world of recreational and elite sport. One such innovation is the application of real-time monitoring, which comprises a smartwatch application and ecosystem, designed to collect, process and transmit a wide range of physiological, biomechanical, bioenergetic and environmental data using cloud-based services. We plan to assess the impact of this wireless technology during Tokyo 2020, where this technology could help characterize the physiological and thermal strain experienced by an athlete, as well as determine future management of athletes during a medical emergency as a result of a more timely and accurate diagnosis. Here we describe some of the innovative technologies developed for numerous sports at Tokyo 2020 ranging from race walking (20 km and 50 km events), marathon, triathlon, road cycling (including the time trial event), mountain biking, to potentially team sports played outdoors. A more symbiotic relationship between sport, health and technology needs to be encouraged that harnesses the unique demands of elite sport (e.g., the need for unobtrusive devices that provide real-time feedback) and serves as medical and preventive support for the athlete’s care. The implementation of such applications would be particularly welcome in the field of medicine (i.e., telemedicine applications) and the workplace (with particular relevance to emergency services, the military and generally workers under extreme environmental conditions). Laboratory and field-based studies are required in simulated scenarios to validate such emerging technologies, with the field of sport serving as an excellent model to understand and impact disease.


KEY WORDS: Ecosystem; Wearable electronic devices; Technology; Athletes

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