March 15th 2024

Come back stronger

Forum on Health & Sports Technologies at MCI

"From injury back to success" was the title of the highly acclaimed forum organized by the Department of Medical, Health & Sports Technologies at MCI in cooperation with the Hochrum Private Clinic on March 13. Six exciting presentations by specialists in their respective fields easily managed to captivate the audience in the packed auditorium for the entire duration of the event.

The lecture series was opened by Fulbright Visiting Professor Denny Yu from Purdue University in Indiana, USA, with a vivid description of his research into the prevention of injuries in the workplace with the help of exoskeletons. The focus here is on supporting surgeons in their strenuous and responsible work with patients.

Bernhard Hollaus, Professor in the Department of Medical, Health & Sports Technologies with a focus on sports technology, electronics, and machine learning and Head of the Health Tech research focus at MCI, gave an entertaining presentation to the audience on the underestimated and highly injury-prone sport of tobogganing and the "VRodel" project. With this virtual tool, you can learn to toboggan without danger and improve your skills. His colleague Jasper Volmer took over the presentation and explained how artificial intelligence can help us make the right decisions during cruciate ligament operations.

Elisabeth Abermann, medical specialist in orthopaedics and traumatology with a focus on knees at the specialist practice Gelenkpunkt in Innsbruck, illustrated how difficult decision-making is despite all the AI. She offered an insight into new technologies for diagnostics, therapy, and rehabilitation and the difficult answer to the question that is currently occupying the entire nation: "Can David Alaba play at the Euro?" (however, the audience did not get the clear answer they were hoping for).

The hard work behind "Come back stronger" and what it means for a seriously injured athlete to return to sport was illustrated by the ex ski crosser Christoph Ebenbichler from the Innsbruck Olympic Center in his presentation about his own experiences and Progressive Load Management. "Biology cannot be tricked", which is why the Olympic Center at the University of Innsbruck's Campus Sport Tirol offers its clients an individually tailored program not only for "Back to Sports", but also for "Back to Competition" and "Back to Performance".

Markus Schmidt from the Institute of Sport and Sports Science at TU Dortmund University explained the difference between the accuracy and correctness of measurement methods and systems and therefore also how smartwatches work. Connections and influences of the individual, sensor localization, expertise, fatigue, type of movement would not always present objective data in the end.

Carson Patterson, performance diagnostician and coach at the Innsbruck Olympic Center, gave a brilliant, inspiring final presentation. He has been coaching athletes for decades who have repeatedly achieved top results in their sports and posed the question at the forum: "Can injuries be prevented and is psychology involved?" Prevention consists of reducing fatigue and increasing concentration; success is linked to the ability to focus and concentrate. This far-reaching insight applies not only to sport, but, for example, also to studying.

Inspired by this powerful last message, the students are already looking forward to the spring semester and the next forum in the field of health and sports technology. Designed as an open lecture and teaching event, the Technology & Life Sciences Forum promotes networking and exchange and offers insights into the MCI's R&D projects.

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