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Football and MHealth – an Important Connection

Healthcare is not something that is restricted to a doctor’s office or hospital. Medical issues happen everywhere, and illness does not wait for a convenient time to attack. Emergency response time is a constant factor in life or death situations. Often, even in cases of non-emergent illness, rapid diagnosis can lead to better treatment options. Time is important for healthcare, and so is accessibility. The sooner the diagnosis and treatment, the healthier the patient, and the better the situation is overall. This fact in and of itself explains the importance of mobile healthcare. A structure based on accessibility and speed, a format that is simple and ever-present. Mobile healthcare research should be focusing in part on emergent situations, on the situations in which response time is key. By equipping normal citizens with the tools to help someone in an emergency situation, or by assisting EMS officers in their response, mHealth can save lives.
We’ve discussed a few examples of this before, such as the app PulsePoint, and the use of TeleHealth consultation to provide detailed response in emergency situations. But one thing that is now coming to the forefront is the way in which mobil healthcare can help in situations with consistent medical needs, primarily sporting events. Since the advent of public sporting, medical staff has been on hand to provide assistance and care. Sports can be dangerous, and often injuries incurred in athletic activity are of a serious nature. Continuing to play with certain injuries can be life threatning, yet often the players do not realize how sever their injuries are. Mainstream diagnostic equipment is too large and expensive for every sporting occasion to have, thus players suffer because their injuries go undiagnosed. This is the thinking behind a new development in the NFL, reported on by EMRandEHR.com. The league has dispersed iPads to medical staff, equipped with concussion assessment software. This has been an ongoing development, however now the NFL is keeping their players records electronically, allowing the onsite medical staff to have access to the players’ history, immediately recognizing whether this is a repeat injury, and thus more serious. On the sideline, available to any player, is a professional with all the access and a growing amount of technological assistance ready to keep the player as healthy and ready for action as possible.

This sideline action happens in all sports, and should be an interesting avenue of mobile healthcare to keep an eye on. There is a lot of money ready to be put towards keeping players as safe as possible, and mobile healthcare is set up to provide safety.  If the NFL, and other sporting leagues, continue to pursue accessible sideline care, mHealth will certainly benefit from the attention.

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