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MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE focusing on the future of individualised sports medicine

Top sports, grassroots sports, health sports, rehabilitation sports and more: Off-the-shelf sport is out. Patients and people who do sports are as varied as the general population is – and everyone wants to get the support and help they need and require and are capable of. Individualisation is also a central concern to the medical world. Digitisation and growing amounts of information about individual people and new methods of analysis are opening up new methods of personalising sports medicine and consequently medical progress. The MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE – which is being held in English – is going to be providing the opportunity for finding out more about the latest research findings. It will be celebrating its 5th anniversary within the scope of the MEDICA 2017, the world’s leading trade fair that will be taking place in Düsseldorf from 14 to 15 November 2017 and focusing on such future-oriented subjects as ‘Latest Innovations in Monitoring Vital Data and Sports Performance’, ‘Tailored Exercise Programs’ and ‘Digital Innovations in Grassroots and Top Sports’. The topic of individualisation in sports medicine is going to be addressed during many of the talks to be given at the event.


The founder of the ‘Sub2hrs’ marathon project, for instance, will be presenting his ‘360 Monitoring’ approach that is designed to help top runners complete marathons in less than two hours. Marko Yrjövuroi, star trainer to many of the top athletes in the USA, will also be presenting the digital tools and methods for comprehensive ‘life management’ that are already available today in top sports and that will soon also be available to grassroots activities. adidas will be premièring its All Day fitness app at Session 1 on Tuesday, 14 November. It is an app that has been designed to assist users around the clock – it does not only help them with individual exercise programmes but also with nutrition, rest periods and yoga, for example. The app thus complements popular fitness trackers and is aimed at providing individual support in a broad section of the grassroots population.

The focus generally will be on the future of sports and sports medicine – and specifically on the question: Will it be possible to run a marathon in less than two hours? “Yes!” is what Professor Yannis Pitsiladis of the University of Brighton thinks. And – as a ‘Member of the Medical and Scientific Commission’ – he should know. The official record currently lies at 2:02:57. The new world record would have to be almost three minutes faster – and that in an age in which many experts are assuming that top sports have reached the limits of what is physically possible. It is becoming increasingly difficult to set new records.


A marathon in less than two hours is something that has to be done ‘clean’.


In Session 1 on Tuesday, 14 November, the founder of the sub2hrs marathon project will be providing an insight into the progress that this mega project has made with the help of its modules that provide 360°multidisciplinary monitoring for athletes. A precise schedule for the achievement of the ambitious target has not yet been announced. But the declared goal since the project was launched in 2014 is to break the two-hour barrier within five years. And everything that promises success and that is feasible is being undertaken to achieve this ambition. But doping is definitely off limits. On the contrary: The SUB2 project sees itself as a ‘clean running’ project. All athletes are regularly tested for doping in compliance with the rules set out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). While those involved in the project are not able to guarantee that the objective can be achieved, they still think that it can be a model for future successes in sports. That’s why many fine adjustments are being made to enable athletes to achieve individual performances that it is hoped will produce ground-breaking records.


The team that Prof. Pitsiladis has gathered is focusing on modern equipment, intelligent training and on individualisation that, for example, uses data management and bio-informatics. The individualisation of training is being facilitated by analysing each athlete’s genetic data, transcriptomes, metabolites, proteomes and epigenomes. Such projects may be deemed to be ‘tailored exercise programmes’ to which a further session – Session No. 5 – will be dedicated at the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE on Wednesday, 15 November. Exciting personal ‘stories’ and the associated training programmes and results will be on the agenda here. The freestyle skiing star Pekka Hyysalo from Finland, for instance, will be sharing his own personal experiences. He suffered a serious skiing accident in 2010. He was 19 at the time and sustained serious head and brain injuries and fell into a coma. His battle to return to life resulted in the founding of the ‘FightBack’ organisation that supports him and other athletes who are living with the consequences of head and brain trauma. Pekka works actively in the organisation and shares his training programmes and findings with people going through similar difficulties and their carers. This battle back is a battle that couldn’t be more individual. Laura Hottenrott, a top medium- to long-distance athlete, will be travelling to Düsseldorf to talk about how she optimises her endurance training and recovery periods by using heart-frequency variability.


How the Bundesliga’s team medic helps decision-making


Another topic that the event will be focusing on is the utilisation of specific monitoring procedures directly at the point of care (POC) to help optimise training for individual athletes. Football injuries often cause uncertainties in regard to when the injury has healed to such an extent that weight can be put back on it. What are the procedures that accompany a ‘return to activity’ in the football Bundesliga? Götz Welsch, Team Doctor at Hamburger SV, will be sharing how he decides who can play again. Here, the various decisions, i.e. ‘return to activity’, ‘return to play’ and ‘return to competition‘, must be reached on a personalised basis while taking account of important criteria.


The question of whether players must be rested and when not is also a subject that will be discussed in Session 4 on Wednesday, 15 November, at which the latest innovations for monitoring vital and performance data are to be presented. Head injuries remain an underestimated risk in many types of sport – and the severity of the injury often only becomes clear a day after the injury. “Profound awareness for this issue is lacking in athletes, trainers and doctors and there is currently no standard definition for ‘concussion’,” says Prof. Claus Reinsberger of Paderborn University describing some of the issues associated with the treatment of head and brain injuries. It is clear that standardised diagnostics and treatment procedures that have been adapted to the situation at hand are required for assessing possible brain injuries. The effects on long-term consequences must also be kept in mind here. Rapid diagnosis on the sidelines still depends largely on an assessment of the pupil reflex. Prof. Reinsberger intends to introduce a new safer method of diagnosis in his presentation: ‘Assessing Concussed Brains Between Clinic And Technology’ is the title of his talk. The future of top – but also grassroots – sports may depend on such innovative approaches to precision medicine. Prof. Wilhelm Bloch, for instance, will be explaining the importance of real-time analysis at the point of care – and, based on it, the specific rapid adaptation of how much exercise and medical care is required for the individual. Sleep also has an effect on personal performance capacities. Raija Laukkanen, Head of Science at Polar, will be discussing the importance of sleep in regard to regeneration, injury prevention and sports performance as well as methods for analysing sleep behaviour during Session 4 that will be taking place on Wednesday, 15 November.


Digital innovations for sports medicine, top and grassroots sports


Digital innovations for sports medicine and top and grassroots sports are to be presented in Session 6 on Wednesday afternoon, which, for the first time, will also be open to trade visitors to the MEDICA without conference tickets. A selection of innovations are to be highlighted here. This will also help trainers in amateur sports when the sports doctor is not at hand – for instance, by being aware of the distance that each player has run. Also in Düsseldorf: a ‘smart running coach’ based on biomechanical data, innovative gaming technologies for ball sports, wearables for regeneration and back training, new methods for the real-time analysis of cardiac arrhythmias, stretchable electronics for the highly precise measuring of strength and performances and solutions for corporate fitness management.


Perhaps sports will be increasingly offered on prescription. This is because It was previously thought that ‘rest was best’ for patients but now diagnoses are being increasingly based on important findings from sports medicine. Well-dosed activities have been recognised as an important factor to recovery in many cases of treatment. This does not only apply to mental illness or dementia but also even to cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer. It is a trend that is being observed across countries. ‘Exercise Prescription for Health in Practise – a Common European Project’ is the title of the presentation by Prof. Petra Zupet, President of the Sports Medicine Association in Slovenia. The talk is further evidence that learning effects achieved through exchanges between top sports, health sports and rehabilitation sports are right at the top of the agenda at this year’s MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE.


The MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE will be bringing internationally renowned sports physicians, physiotherapists, sport techies, industry and experts together for an interdisciplinary dialogue about innovative approaches to prevention, regeneration and rehabilitation. The organisers of this steadily growing platform are now networking leading minds in the field of sports medicine with industry all year round. Something that will also be apparent at the events that will be taking place at the MEDICA in 2017. The largest sports-medicine associations in the world, for instance, will be available in Hall 4, Stand F25 – i.e. outside the congress centre – for dialogue and kicking off new cooperation ventures.


Guided Innovation Tour takes conference participants to innovations


The Guided Innovation Tour will be taking conference participants to see the latest developments by exhibitors at the MEDICA. The computer-based movement programmes by HUR will – among other things – also be on the programme. Its devices are able to adapt the height, the performance level and the programme to the respective person once the user ID has been entered. The HUR SmartTouch device will also be able to carry out the initial tests when no information is available about the user. Personalised strength training for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and the prevention of falling as well as for recovery after knee and hip operations are on the agenda. The Guided Innovation Tour will also stop off at Hocoma from Switzerland, which will be offering solutions and state-of-the-art technologies for functional movement therapy across the entire bandwidth of rehabilitation. Participants will also be able to test the latest solutions for vital data and performance monitoring and movement analysis at the WT Wearable Technologies Show.


All the details about the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE are available online at:

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