Athletes Score Through Pairing of University Hospitals, Cleveland Browns

Athletes Score Through Pairing of University Hospitals, Cleveland Browns - UH Sports Medicine, Dr. Voos

Coaches closely watch Cleveland Browns football players as they burst off the line, charge through the backfield and collide. It seems the coaches see all.

In reality, they don’t. Coaches cannot always see fatigue. They cannot see when an athlete crosses the “overtraining” threshold and becomes prone to injury or illness. Coaches cannot truly measure work – the precise output needed to reach peak physical condition without injury.

However, satellites can – satellites and software and UH sports-medicine specialist James Voos, MD.

Dr. Voos is head team physician of the Cleveland Browns. He and Browns Head Trainer Joe Sheehan and their staff use advanced global positioning-satellite technology and breakthrough biometrics to measure and improve hidden but vital variables in player performance.

“We’re creating the next generation of sports medicine by pioneering ways to maximize performance safely,” Dr. Voos declared.

The GPS system tracks tags attached to Browns players and measures movement – acceleration, deceleration, change of direction, leaping – 100 times each second. Other sensors track heart rate and other biomarkers. All of this data feeds into sophisticated software. Medical and training staffs analyze the information to reveal where performance peaks – and find the tipping points where performance breaks down into fatigue and injury.

The GPS system is just one of many space-age tools the UH team is employing under a 10-year partnership between UH and the Browns – the team’s only sponsor relationship that will help players perform better on the field. Some are so innovative that they are closely guarded secrets.

“We’re creating the next generation of sports medicine by pioneering ways to maximize performance safely,” Dr. Voos declared. “In a league where every player is an elite athlete, having the most fit and injury-free athletes can be the difference that makes champions.”

Dr. Voos and his team of experts understand that amateur athletes want peak performance, too. So they’ll share knowledge with physicians, trainers and athletes at every level.

“Through science and experience,” Dr. Voos explained, “we learn lessons that apply to pros, and we translate it to help college programs, athletic kids, and active adults who are 10K runners or cyclists.”

Measuring and Managing Concussions' Impact

The science keeps getting clearer: Concussions can cause long-term harm. Even worse, suffering a second concussion before fully recovering from the first can be catastrophic – even fatal. So UH’s Concussion Program has introduced a free testing regimen that determines when it’s safe for a concussion-affected athlete to resume normal sport activity and risk. UH has made this test available at no cost to protect high-school, college and professional athletes from “second-impact syndrome.” Before a sports season begins, UH caregivers administer the test to athletes to measure their normal attention span, memory, reaction time and mental processing speed. Those who suffer a concussion repeat the test after a recovery period. Caregivers can compare that score to the athlete’s preconcussion baseline to help determine recovery progress and readiness to resume activity. Said initiative leader Christopher Bailey, PhD, a UH neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine: “Playing sports is healthy and fun, as long as we recognize and manage risks.”

Top Area Teams, Events Count on UH Trainers

For amateur sports teams and events all across Northeast Ohio, team physicians and certified athletic trainers from University Hospitals help keep players on the ball and in the game by preventing, treating and rehabilitating injuries. UH and the teams we serve share one goal: safe, healthy and fun competition. From off-season planning to post-championship-game ice downs, our professionals prepare young athletes for the rigors of competition, protect them from injury and tend to those who still get hurt. Case Western Reserve University, Lake Erie College, Ursuline College and 21 area high schools count on UH, and our pros oversee participant safety at sporting events ranging from the Junior Olympics to the Senior Games.

James Voos, MD, is the Jack and Mary Herrick Endowed Director of Sports Medicine at UH, Director of Sports Medicine at UH Cleveland Medical Center, and Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

University Hospitals is the Official Health Care Partner of the Cleveland Browns. A complete lineup of medical and surgical specialists at UH Cleveland Medical Center covers every aspect of the team’s health care needs.

Read more highlights from another great year in the 2014 UH Annual Report.

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