Electronic Caregiver and Austrian partners help international soccer players get back in the game amid COVID-19 pandemic

3 June 2020

As COVID-19 regulations ease, U.S.-based health technology company Electronic Caregiver® has developed a digital application to help professional soccer players in Austria resume training and competition as safely as possible.

Electronic Caregiver was subcontracted by Paracelsus Medical University (PMU) to build a data collection interface and mobile application, called Wallpass, to identify and track COVID-19 exposure risk among professional soccer players of the Austrian Soccer Bundesliga, the highest-ranking national league club competition in Austrian soccer. Along with Electronic Caregiver, PMU will collaborate with the University of Salzburg and the Red Bull Athlete Performance Center (APC) in Salzburg to help maintain overall athlete and staff members' health.

"This project, coupled with other initiatives that Electronic Caregiver is working on right now, is targeted toward helping the world get back to some semblance of normalcy and will allow people to begin living their lives again," said Electronic Caregiver Chief Technology Officer Dr. David Keeley. "By providing this technology, we're helping to be a driving force for job creation or re-establishment. We're helping communities heal as it relates to getting back to normal, and we're doing so in a way that maximizes protection as much as possible."

Prof. Juergen Osterbrink, Head of the Center for Public Health and Health Services Research of the PMU, said it is a privilege to work on such an important project with strong partners.

"A safe environment for the athletes is another step towards normality for professional sports," Osterbrink said.

Apple Inc. recently approved Electronic Caregiver's digital app for testing. Professional soccer players participating in the study to evaluate the efficacy of the app will register and download the app so that it can begin collecting data on physiology, standard training and competition, recovery, and COVID-19 or infectious disease exposure risk (including survey question responses and geopositioning). PMU's research team and medical staff will review the data and quantify the safeness of returning to play.

"We're trying to show that the risk of returning to play is minimal with enhanced safety procedures," Keeley said. "Teams will be using the app for about three months, and then hopefully, we meet with success, and we can extend and expand through the entire league for the 2021 season."

The results of this study will provide new and much-needed data on the prevalence, nature, and behavior of COVID-19-related illness in athletic individuals.

"From a medical perspective, it is very important to gain and analyze data regarding risk factors and prevention approaches against COVID-19 in professional sports to get a better understanding and improve safety as best as possible for team sport athletes," said Prof. Maria Flamm, Head of the Institute of General, Family, and Preventive Medicine at PMU.

Thomas Stoeggl, Head of R&D/Science of the APC and professor for training science at the University of Salzburg, echoed that thought, emphasizing that "it is of greatest importance to guarantee a safe sport and to understand the possible mechanisms and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic or future diseases."

Along with professional athletes, this project and Electronic Caregiver's mobile app will pave the way for other organizations and individuals to return to daily life.

"I could see this technology used in schools; I could see it used in places of business; I could see it used for organizations that want to host large gatherings," Keeley said. "I see its applicability across a wide range of scenarios and use cases."

In addition, this project opens doors for Electronic Caregiver, establishing it as a trusted company for special projects, Keeley said.

"It just reaffirms our standing as a mature health care and software development company, not just in the region but across the U.S., and really in the world," he said.



Source: prnewswire.com