Modern day sports are played at the highest levels of intensity. Professional players have a lot at stake – national pride, expectations from club owners, financial rewards, personal achievements and more.
Months, sometimes even years of preparation and rigorous training goes into achieving the levels of fitness required to compete on the grand stage. And when a player stretches the limits his/her body can endure, injuries are bound to happen.
Well, sports-related injuries can’t be prevented. However, no player can afford to lose out too much time sitting on the side bench or at hospital recuperating and nursing wounds. There’s way too much competition out there, and players cannot afford to miss out on chances that come their way.
On-field player safety has become a significant concern in recent years, and tragic incidents like premature player retirements, gruesome injuries have made it imperative to provide prompt medical care and assistance to affected players.
Sports medicine, as this field is collectively referred to, holds under its umbrella, all the major health concerns regarding modern day athletes.
Most professional sports teams and clubs have a ready entourage of medical personnel at their disposal at nearly all times, however, without the aid of things like sophisticated medical equipment, even these highly trained medical staff cannot accomplish much in the case of occurrences like on-field emergencies.
Shifting a player to the hospital is what the standard modus operandi is in such cases, but that takes up valuable time and could sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
Revolutionizing sports medicine through telehealth solutions: Telehealth, simply put, is the use of telecommunication technologies to deliver top-notch medical attention to people who need them but are not in the physical vicinity of the required resources.
What started off as a way to make people, who live in remote areas, get the best possible medical attention and care has started to be recognized for the critical role it could play in very similar conditions elsewhere. And sports medicine is one such area where telehealth solutions have been touted to play a crucial role in the years to come.
Players regularly suffer from injuries and other health concerns, both off and on the field, and telehealth solutions could be vital in bringing some much-needed ease and comfort to their lives.
There are three core areas in the field of sports medicine where telehealth solutions will undoubtedly be impactful and probably even more successful than conventional methods of handling issues:
Assessments on the ground: There are a lot of ways a player could get injured during play like getting hit by a ball or by developing a stress fracture due to continuous overexertion. Other, even more, serious injuries, like concussions, often go unnoticed during a game, only to be diagnosed later on.
This can definitely put the player’s health in jeopardy as it has happened for so many years. But telehealth solutions like the Checklight sensor, which can signal a concussion almost instantaneously as it happens, can prove to be the difference in providing a narrow but immensely useful window in which the damage to the player can be minimized as soon as possible.
Even if there isn’t as serious a problem as internal bleeding or a concussion, telehealth can provide the players with on-field assessments. The affected players can be placed in specially designed booths that have movable cameras and vital medical equipment, allowing a remotely located medical professional to provide diagnosis and subsequent course of action to be taken right then and there.
It will also help to reduce the cost of taking specialized medical personnel physically with teams, making it immensely beneficial to team management and owners across the world.
Better training and guidance: Training is an integral part of a player’s preparation before any tournament, not just Olympics, where they need to be at not only the top of their form but also at their very best as far as fitness is concerned. Teams no longer vouch for talent, they vouch for fitness.
And modern-day fitness standards cannot be met with just traditional exercise and workout regimens.
Players also need constant knowledge on proper nutrition; optimal fat to muscle ratio, customized workout routines and more and telehealth powered connectivity could allow players to access the very best medical personnel including physicians and dieticians irrespective of where they are located.
This could definitely raise the bar on the fitness levels of the players in the upcoming years.
Recuperation assistance: Many injuries tend to make people highly immobile, making the idea of physically visiting a doctor, seems like a daunting challenge. However, for players like these, who are in the process of rehabilitation, telehealth could provide the perfect alternative to physically visiting the concerned doctor.
The player can receive care and advice right then and there from the doctor without needing to move an inch, saving the players’ time, energy and financial resources to a large extent.
Some problems aren’t serious, but undoubtedly do occur for, e.g., the dilemma the team management is placed in when a player sustains an injury during a game. Such situations are especially tricky for medical amateurs, but telehealth solutions can help coaches and support staff get proper guidance in precisely these kind of cases, making them a lot easier to handle.
Telehealth definitely holds unbridled promise towards the field of sports medicine, and it needs to become an integral part of sports medicine mechanisms in the future to provide much-needed relief, and support to sports professionals across the world. It’s a relatively old phenomenon, but one that has gathered pace in the past couple of years, with many physicians and medical personnel starting to weigh their options of incorporating telehealth as an essential part of their practice.
The people we so lovingly adore would definitely be at their best longer if they can secure much better medical aid facilities. Telemedicine can ensure that these superstars stay less off the field and mostly on it, doing what they do best, i.e., entertain, enthrall, motivate and inspire millions of people across the globe.