JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Wearable Performance Devices in Sports Medicine

Ryan T Li, Scott R Kling, Michael J Salata, Sean A Cupp, Joseph Sheehan, James E Voos
Sports Health 2016, 8 (1): 74-8
26733594

CONTEXT: Wearable performance devices and sensors are becoming more readily available to the general population and athletic teams. Advances in technology have allowed individual endurance athletes, sports teams, and physicians to monitor functional movements, workloads, and biometric markers to maximize performance and minimize injury. Movement sensors include pedometers, accelerometers/gyroscopes, and global positioning satellite (GPS) devices. Physiologic sensors include heart rate monitors, sleep monitors, temperature sensors, and integrated sensors. The purpose of this review is to familiarize health care professionals and team physicians with the various available types of wearable sensors, discuss their current utilization, and present future applications in sports medicine.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Data were obtained from peer-reviewed literature through a search of the PubMed database. Included studies searched development, outcomes, and validation of wearable performance devices such as GPS, accelerometers, and physiologic monitors in sports.

STUDY DESIGN: Clinical review.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 4.

RESULTS: Wearable sensors provide a method of monitoring real-time physiologic and movement parameters during training and competitive sports. These parameters can be used to detect position-specific patterns in movement, design more efficient sports-specific training programs for performance optimization, and screen for potential causes of injury. More recent advances in movement sensors have improved accuracy in detecting high-acceleration movements during competitive sports.

CONCLUSION: Wearable devices are valuable instruments for the improvement of sports performance. Evidence for use of these devices in professional sports is still limited. Future developments are needed to establish training protocols using data from wearable devices.

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