Focus on innovative procedures and technologies for professional and health sports

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This year in mid-November, the international elite of sports medicine will meet in Düsseldorf for the tenth time at the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE, which is part of the world’s leading medical trade fair MEDICA. The conference held in English will allow renowned experts from the fields of applied sports medicine, sports science, physiotherapy or, for example, technical fields to come together to discuss innovative approaches in prevention, therapy and recovery in professional and health sports across their respective disciplines, in the Congress Center Düsseldorf (CCD Süd) on Wednesday and Thursday, 16 and 17 November (MEDICA 2022 will be held from 14 to 17 November).

One topic will be the ongoing necessity of the discipline of sports medicine worldwide to address the effects of the Covid pandemic in multiple ways. On Wednesday, 16 November, Prof. Alexandra Nieters, head of the research group at the Center for Chronic Immunodeficiency (CCI) at the University of Freiburg Medical Center, will for the first time present the results of a comprehensive post-Covid study with more than half a million cases. One of her previous studies has already proven that at six to 12 months after even a light, acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, the impact remains high even for young and middle-aged adults. There are remaining negative effects on general health and the ability to work. However, after recovering from an infection, many people feel more reassured concerning a possible new infection. But is this optimism really justified? Nieters will offer at least hints at the answers to this important question. As yet, there is in any case no reason not to be vigilant. Whether a Covid-19 infection can cause health risks and chronic performance issues for athletes will be made clearer by Manuel Widman, from the department of sports medicine at the University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Tübingen. He will present the first results of the “CoSmo-S” study. This is intended to help evaluate the personal health risk that comes with a SARS-CoV-2 infection in sports and when engaging in athletic activities again. Cardiologist Prof. Andreas Hagendorff, head of the echocardiographic laboratories of the University of Leipzig Medical Center, suggests a new diagnostic approach from a cardiological perspective, based on his experience in the daily treatment of sufferers of Covid, which could help the world over for decisions of when to “return to play”. Hagendorff will further explain his approach during a lecture at the conference. Prof. Rembert Koczulla, chief physician at the centre for pulmonology at the Schoen Clinic in Berchtesgadener Land and professor at the University of Marburg, is the leading coordinator of the “Long/Post-COVID” treatment guideline. In Düsseldorf, he will present the latest recommendations from the perspective of pulmonology.

Sport is vital for prevention – at work, in the hospital, in daily life

The pandemic has caused an alarming further decrease in the athletic activity of a large part of the population. The importance of sports in prevention, health literacy and athletic activities at the workplace are therefore among the topics of the conference, and will be presented on the afternoon of Wednesday, 16 November. For example, Prof. Dieter Leyk, head of the Research Group Epidemiology of Performance at the Sport University Cologne, will answer the question of how to motivate adults with a sedentary lifestyle to be more active. An “active” hospital, as Prof. Johannes Zwerver, Sport & Exercise Medicine, University of Groningen, Netherlands, presents it, assesses patients’ fitness levels upon admission, upon entering surgery and ideally after discharge home, for example.

Wearables as a key technology for evidence-based diagnostics

Wearables, technological items carried on the body, are regarded as a key to adapt medicine and sports to the individual. How well are we prepared for this development? From the view of PD Dr Moritz Schumann, Section Molecular and Cellular Sport Medicine at the Sport University Cologne, the spread and marketing of wearables throughout the health sector should be obliged to follow scientific advice. Schumann is the co-coordinator of a network to establish internationally binding standards for wearable technology and his lecture focuses on evidence-based diagnostics and standards for the validation of wearables. In the following conference presentation on Thursday morning, Yannis Pitsiladis, professor at the University of Brighton and member of the Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee, will show how professional sports further the use of wearables. Prof. Björn Eskofier, professor at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nürnberg, will present the future roadmap for using technology in professional sports – from sensors to digital twins.

Continual measuring of blood sugar could revolutionise training

To individualise training programmes for top athletes, there are many vital and performance parameters to draw from. Continuous monitoring of glucose through smart patches has been used for a while now in the medical field when treating diabetes. But today, it already has the potential to change training and diet plans completely: “Continuous glucose monitoring for everyone” is the title of the corresponding lecture by Dr Lutz Graumann, Rosenheim, who by the way tests his thesis on himself. In the following “Shark Tank”, young entrepreneurs – similar to the eponymous television show (known as “Höhle des Löwen” (cave of the lion) in Germany) – will compete against each other with digital innovations. Among them are ‘Supersapiens’ and ‘Hello Inside’ that successfully integrate apps based on continuous blood sugar monitoring into professional sports and daily life. Further contributions show digital markers for performance management, future technologies for training for football and long distance running, as well as monitoring health via the voice.

New findings for the optimisation of training, sleep and diet are part of the programme

Individualisation within professional sports and in training programmes is the focus of session 6 on the afternoon of Thursday, 17 November, at the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE. The contributions show how genetic markers and molecular blood markers or metabolites can be used for individualisation within sports. As for individualised sleep management for top athletes, sleep expert Dr Sarah Jakowski covers this topic in her report. She is researching sleep behaviour, sleeping patterns and individual sleep management strategies in junior and top athletes. One current issue is the role of sex. In her article “Sportswomen are much more than just small sportsmen”, Prof. Petra Platen, sports medicine specialist at the Ruhr University Bochum,  demands that female-specific characteristics like the menstrual cycle should receive greater attention when planning training and competitions. Right now she is conducting a scientific study together with the German Athletics Association (DLV). Speaker Prof. Mara Konjer, vice president of sports development for the DLV, shows the importance of (un)equal treatment of male and female athletes in her study as an important determining factor for the participation and national success in international women’s sports.

The individualisation of sports medicine has multiple facets, many of which will be addressed by the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE and its around 30 speakers. Among the partners of this 10th edition of the conference, which has been accredited as an advanced training programme by the German medical board, are: DGSP (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sportmedizin und Prävention), the German society of sports medicine and prevention, dvs (Deutsche Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft), the German association for sports science, WISS (Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft), the federal institute for sports science, FIMS (Federation Internationale de Medecine du Sport), EFSMA (European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations, EiM (American College of Sports Medicine), Sport Speaker, WT Wearable Technologies Group. Among our industry partners are Kinexon, SmarTracks, Supersapiens, bioniq.

All of the details on the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE are available online at: https://www.medica-tradefair.com/MMSC.