Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 23, 2012

Health Technology Makers Provide U.S. Olympic Athletes with Devices and Data used to Improve Product

It could be a win-win for U.S. athletes and health technology companies – during the summer Olympics in London.

Athletes are being given new devices which will help maximize their chances of winning. The collected data will be used by device companies to improve the products.

The use of the devices appears to be totally legal under Olympic rules. They are used to monitor such factors as: diet, exercise patterns, and sleep, The Financial Times and Telegraph (UK) reported this weekend.

Among the companies taking part is DexCom, which makes glucose monitors. The monitors will be used by the U.S. track cycling team. Usually, they are employed by those with diabetes to measure blood sugar levels.

“These are early-phase trials to see how it works,” Kevin Sayer, DexCom president, told the Financial Times. “We’re open to learn.”

In addition, Sky Christopherson, a consultant to U.S. team members and founder of Optimized Athlete – a private company that finds patterns from health data – explained that a desired level of “deep sleep” will lead to the best achievement in a sport like cycling. Glucose levels are related to the ideal deep sleep, he adds.

Most U.S. athletes will provide the data to the device companies in exchange for using the devices, according to news reports. The technology will be upgraded – armed with the data provided by the U.S. athletes – and will be targeted to such sectors as amateur sports or weight loss, according to a report.

An added plus for the companies, is that they will get more exposure for their new products by their use during the Olympics, according to the Daily Mail.

In other recent news about the Olympics, sports psychologist Steve Portenga has released a mobile app for the iPhone to maximize athletic performance levels. Olympic athletes are among the first users of the new app.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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