Medical Technology in Sports

As you probably know, our ability to track the physical status of the human body is becoming easier with technology like Fitbit etc. The mechanisms for checking things like fatigue have become smaller, and more mobile, to the point that they can be worn while playing sports. Naturally, professional sports teams want to utilize this technology in order to gain a competitive advantage. Using this technology would allow them ensure that their athletes are receiving the correct amount of training, and are not fatigued for games. Alongside the this technology, teams are now starting to use consistent blood testing as a way to optimize the diet of all of their players. The teams who have implemented these technologies have reported better performance and lower injury rates from their players.

The problem is, that by being tested and having their fatigue levels checked so frequently, players’ private lives become much less private . This creates a major rights problem for the players, as the organizations will have access to information that the players would prefer to keep private. Teams will know the sleep schedules of their players, diet, nightlife, and even alcohol and recreational drug use. It would be in the best interest of both parties to cooperate in the use of this technology, but from the player’s perspective, it would give too much power to the team. Organizations would want to control all aspects of the lives of their players, as it would potentially improve the overall performance of their team.

As collective bargaining agreements expire in the upcoming years, I expect this to be a major issue when the player’s unions are trying to come to agreements with owners. It will be such an important issue because players are expensive money making assets, and organizations want to protect these assets. Generally, the players also want to perform at their highest level, but maybe nott if that is at the expense of sacrificing any privacy that they may have.

I would guess that teams will not be able to make this testing a requirement for all players, but it will be worked in for those who do accept to take part in it. I could also see it being worked into contract talks with potential monetary benefits for the players who are willing to include testing in their contracts. The resolution will be interesting, and hopefully in the end it leads to better performance and injury prevention for players in all sports.

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