Jun 3, 2016
Tech Tools

With the ever-changing landscape of wearable technology in athletics, it can be hard to keep up with what’s new. Don’t worry about falling behind, though, because this year’s NATA Conference will highlight some of the newest uses of technology for athletic trainers.

To start, check out “Using GPS Technology for Sports Performance and Injury Prevention,” which will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 25. Leigh Weiss, DPT, PT, ATC, Physical Therapist and Director of Rehabilitation for the New York Giants, will discuss how wearable technology can be used in performance training and late-state rehabilitation. Attendees will learn about the many variables of elite sport performance tracking and how to analyze them.

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One of the biggest trends to hit the performance field in recent years, wearable GPS devices are changing the way athletes train and recover.  By having a history of data points, injured athletes can be measured against their own baselines to give athletic trainers some indication of whether they are ready to return to competition. Also, by having practice segment values categorized, the coach and medical personnel are able to administer the correct dosages of stress while the athlete works to return.

During the afternoon on Saturday, Elizabeth Teel, MS, PhD student at the University of North Carolina, will present “Benefits of Incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) into Clinical Concussion Assessment and Management.” Outcomes for this seminar include understanding the benefits and limitations of VR concussion assessments as well as their utility in rehabilitation following concussion. This special topics presentation will take place from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. 

The concept of using Virtual Reality in concussion management is gaining ground.  As an example, researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix have designed a virtual reality app that coaches student-athletes to recognize the symptoms of concussion. The program simulates a post-concussion experience, with the hope that a familiarity with the symptoms will help athletes choose to report them in high stress situations.  Click here to read an article on this app.

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