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As COVID-19 regulations ease, Las Cruces-based health technology company Electronic Caregiver (ECG) has developed a digital application to help professional soccer players in Austria resume training and competition as safely as possible.
ECG was subcontracted by Paracelsus Medical University (PMU) in Salzburg, Austria to build a data collection interface and mobile app, called Wallpass, to identify and track COVID-19 exposure risk among players of the Austrian Soccer Bundesliga, the highest-ranking national league club competition in Austrian soccer.
ECG and 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 ECG 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 ECG Chief Technology Officer 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.”
Apple Inc. recently approved ECG’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 professional athletics.
“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 PMU Institute of General, Family, and Preventive Medicine Head professor Maria Flamm.
“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,” said APC’s head of research and development/science Thomas Stoeggl, professor for training science at the University of Salzburg.
Along with professional athletes, this project and ECG’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.”
ECG is a leading brand for virtual care solutions and remote patient monitoring services. The company staff size more than doubled in 2019 and is nearing 150 full-time employees. ECG has invested more than $55 million and 10 years into research, development and a staged rollout of virtual care and health management solutions for chronic care patients, child patients and older adults. Visit www.addison.care and www.electroniccaregiver.com.
PMU is a private university with locations in Salzburg and Nuremberg, Germany. Teaching, research and patient care are the three pillars on which the university was founded in 2002. Visit
APC is supporting elite athletes from more than 200 individual sport disciplines with more than 800 individual athletes currently under sponsorship contracts. Visit www.redbull.at.