05 Aug

Cloud-Based Medical Records Help Olympic Athletes Go for Gold

About 10 percent of Olympic athletes get hurt at the games during training or competition, according to Scientific American. Suffering an injury can lead to catastrophic loss of earning a medal both for the athlete and their entire team. For example, in 2009, gymnast Rebecca Bross made a bad landing on a tumbling pass on a floor exercise and lost her shot at the gold medal. The next year she needed surgery on her right ankle. Bross eventually had to change her focus to balance beam and uneven bars instead of all-arounder due to her domino effect of injuries.

Some injuries are a matter of misstep or accident, while others can be prevented through carefully adjusting, training and monitoring. This is where cloud technology comes in. The cloud has made its way into the Olympic level to help aid and prevent injury in the following ways:


Maintain Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solutions (CPS) announced it will serve as the official storage platform for electronic medical records (EMR) at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. By keeping medical records in the cloud, teams have immediate access to them in case of an injury. Doctors, trainers and nutritionists can collaborate from a single cloud platform to look at an athlete’s medical history and data to pinpoint peak performance and potential setbacks. The cloud streamlines visits to the polyclinic and lets medical professionals compare data to an athlete’s training and performance. It also allows an athlete’s medical and coaching team to stay connected from anywhere in the world. Cloud-based EMR lets athletes and their coaches quickly bring in medical experts to diagnose injuries or deal with any problems in real time instead of having to wait for an appointment.


Track Potential Injuries

The cloud tracks athletic performance across thousands of data points to predict when an injury may occur. It aims to help trainers intervene and make adjustments to prevent injuries from happening.

For example, Australia’s Olympic team turned to the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS), Microsoft and Biz Data to determine the point when athletes suffer an injury or illness. Data is collected through an Azure SQL Database to study custom algorithms across 2,000 athletes. Those results are monitored by coaches that can then modify training. To safeguard the sensitive health information of athletes, the database has built in security in its SQL Databases.


Get a Deeper Understanding of Medical Diagnostics

Electronic medical records have already seen success at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. With the ability to access electronic medical records in real time and study the data, American athletes saw improved medical diagnostics and trainers saw improved performance. Storing and analyzing electronic medical data in the cloud also allows doctors to address the specific nutritional needs of each individual athlete. In some cases, doctors have been able to reduce anemia in female athletes by tracking hemoglobin levels and lab results.


Revolutionize Training Journals

There also are training apps that utilize data from the cloud. For instance, RightBlue Labs is revolutionizing the traditional training journal with the Logit app that monitors athletes’ training habits. Co-founder Ronen Benin retired as a competitive swimmer at 17 years old after suffering multiple injuries. He logged a training journal to track how he felt during training and competitions and found that the journal wasn’t effective in identifying training patterns. In comparison, Logit polls athletes on a Likert scale, which asks them to rank how they’re feeling on a scale from very bad to very good, as they train and then pulls data about past injuries from in the cloud to warn them of any imminent risk.

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