University of Oxford Launches Podium Analytics Institute for Youth Sports Medicine and Technology

Science X

September 23, 2021

Oxford University has been selected as the home of the new Podium Analytics Institute for Youth Sports Medicine and Technology. This will be the world’s first academic Institute focused on young athletes’ safety and lifelong health and will combine Oxford’s longstanding tradition in sports and education with the very best of science, medicine, and technology.

The new Institute will shift the traditional emphasis of research into sports injury—which is predominantly adult-centric and based upon treatment—by concentrating on younger athletes, 11-18 years old, and will focus on prevention rather than cure.

For the first time, the Institute will switch the research focus from professional adult athletes and their treatment to the prevention of injury in young athletes aged 11-18.

The institute will develop new technologies to monitor and analyse the individual factors that currently lead to youth sports injuries and offer practical solutions for safer sports practices, focusing on safety for lifelong health, rather than performance.

‘Sport-related injury, particularly concussion, have rapidly risen to the top of under-reported and under-researched issues with lifelong consequences for both individual athletes and society. This partnership, and the new Institute, will combine the best of science, medicine and technology to deliver research that can have a real-world and measurable impact on young people’s lives.’ Prof Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford

The Institute will form part of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (Department of Engineering Science) – which has a 15-year track-record of combining medicine and technology to achieve adoption and healthcare impact—and will draw on leading expertise across the medical sciences, including clinical neurosciences, orthopaedics, and population health, as well as Oxford’s Big Data Institute.

Ron Dennis CBE, Founder and Chairman of Podium Analytics, commented: ‘Youth sports injury is an under-researched area of sport, and it’s essential that focus shifts to young people. My time in motorsport has taught me the value of science-based, data-driven approaches; this new Institute and the world-leading University of Oxford will spearhead that approach, driving unprecedented research and innovation in this space.’

The initial work of the Institute will focus on traumatic injuries such as concussion and serious musculoskeletal injuries as well as sudden cardiac death and the psychological factors that lead to injury.

‘Through the work of Podium Analytics, we have an opportunity to acquire and analyse real-world data from young athletes at scale. We will employ the latest wearable data acquisition technologies and make use of the most advanced AI techniques to identify and predict injury. We will prototype, test and deploy innovative protective technologies and recommend, evidence-based, changes to regulations and sport practice.’

‘Our aim is the practical adoption, within 5 years of, meaningful changes for sport safety not just for elite athletes, but for everyone.’ said Prof. Constantin Coussios FREng (Institute of Biomedical Engineering), the Founding Director of the Podium Analytics Institute, University of Oxford.

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