MEDICA 2022 Background Report No.2 - Sports medicine leaders will meet for 10th MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS MEDICINE

September 21, 2022
This year in mid-November, the international elite of sports medicine will meet in Düsseldorf, Germany for the tenth time at the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE, which is part of the world's leading medical trade fair MEDICA. The English-language conference will bring together renowned experts from the fields of applied sports medicine, sports science, physiotherapy and technical fields to discuss innovative approaches in prevention, therapy and recovery in professional and health sports across their respective disciplines. The event will take place in the Congress Center Düsseldorf (CCD Süd) of the Düsseldorf fairgrounds on November 16 - 17 (MEDICA 2022 will be held from November 14 - 17).

Thus, the discipline of sports medicine worldwide still has to deal with the consequences of the Covid pandemic in many ways. On November 16, Prof. Alexandra Nieters, head of the research group at the Center for Chronic Immunodeficiency (CCI) at the University of Freiburg Medical Center, will for the first time present the results of a comprehensive post-Covid study with more than half a million cases. One of her previous studies has already shown that at 6 to 12 months after even a light, acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, the impact remains high even for young and middle-aged adults. There are remaining negative effects on general health and the ability to work.

However, after recovering from an infection, many people feel more reassured concerning a possible new infection. But is this optimism really justified? Prof. Nieters will offer at least hints for answers to this important question. So far, there is no reason not to be vigilant. Whether a Covid-19 infection can cause health risks and chronic performance issues for athletes will be addressed by Manuel Widman from the department of sports medicine at the University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Tübingen. He will present the first results of the "CoSmo-S" study. This is intended to help evaluate the personal health risk that comes with a SARS-CoV-2 infection in sports and when engaging in athletic activities again. Cardiologist Prof. Andreas Hagendorff, head of the echocardiographic laboratories of the University of Leipzig Medical Center, will propose a new diagnostic approach from a cardiological perspective, based on his experience in the daily treatment of Covid sufferers, which could assist in "return-to-play" decisions worldwide. Hagendorff will further explain his approach during a lecture at the conference. Prof. Rembert Koczulla, chief physician at the center for pulmonology at the Schoen Clinic in Berchtesgadener Land and professor at the University of Marburg, will be the leading coordinator of the "Long/Post-COVID" treatment guideline. In Düsseldorf, he will present the latest recommendations from the perspective of pulmonology.

Sport is vital for prevention – at work, in the hospital, in daily life

The pandemic has caused an alarming further decline in the athletic activity among a large part of the population. The importance of sports in prevention, health literacy and athletic activities at the workplace are therefore among the topics of the conference and will be presented on the afternoon of November 16. Prof. Dieter Leyk, head of the Research Group Epidemiology of Performance at the Sport University Cologne, will answer the question of how to motivate adults with a sedentary lifestyle to be more active. An "active" hospital, as presented by Prof. Johannes Zwerver, Sport & Exercise Medicine, University of Groningen, Netherlands, assesses patients' fitness levels upon admission, going into surgery and ideally after discharge at home.

Wearables as a key technology for evidence-based diagnostics

Wearables, technological items worn on the body, are regarded as a key to adapt medicine and sports to the individual. How well are we prepared for this development? According to PD Dr Moritz Schumann, Section Molecular and Cellular Sport Medicine at the Sport University Cologne, it is imperative that the dissemination and marketing in the health sector be accompanied by scientific research. Schumann is the co-coordinator of a network to establish internationally binding standards for wearable technology and his lecture will focus on evidence-based diagnostics and standards for the validation of wearables. In the following conference presentation on Thursday morning, Yannis Pitsiladis, professor at the University of Brighton and member of the Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee, will show how professional sports is driving the use of wearables. Prof. Björn Eskofier, professor at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nürnberg, will present the future roadmap for using technology in professional sports – from sensors to digital twins.

Continual measuring of blood sugar could revolutionize training

Many vital and performance parameters can be used to individualize training programs in elite sports. Continuous monitoring of glucose through smart patches has been used for a while in the medical field when treating diabetes. But today, it already has the potential to change training and diet plans completely: "Continuous glucose monitoring for everyone" is the title of the corresponding lecture by Dr Lutz Graumann, Rosenheim, who will test himself. In the following "Shark Tank", young entrepreneurs – similar to the TV show (known as "Höhle des Löwen" (Lion’s den) in Germany) – will compete against each other with digital innovations. Among them are 'Supersapiens' and 'Hello Inside' which successfully integrate apps based on continuous blood sugar monitoring into professional sports and daily life. Other contributions show digital markers for performance management, future technologies for soccer training and long distance running, as well as monitoring health via the voice.

New findings for the optimization of training, sleep and diet are part of the program

Individualization within professional sports and in training programs will be the focus of session 6 on the afternoon of November 17 at the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE. The contributions will show how genetic markers and molecular blood markers or metabolites can be used for individualization within sports. Sleep expert Dr. Sarah Jakowski will report on how sleep management can be individualized in top-class sports. In a research project, she is investigating sleep behavior, sleep patterns and individual sleep management strategies in junior and elite sports. One current topic is the consideration of gender. In her article "Sportswomen are much more than just small sportsmen", Prof. Petra Platen, sports medicine specialist at the Ruhr University Bochum, demands that female-specific characteristics like the menstrual cycle should receive greater attention when planning training and competitions. She is currently a scientific study together with the German Athletics Association (DLV). Speaker Prof. Mara Konjer, vice president of sports development for the DLV, will show the importance of (in)equal treatment of male and female athletes in her study as an important determining factor for the participation and national success in international women's sports.

The individualization of sports medicine has multiple facets, many of which will be addressed by the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE and its nearly 30 speakers. Among the partners of this 10th edition of the conference, which has been accredited as an advanced training program by the German medical board, are: DGSP (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sportmedizin und Prävention), the German society of sports medicine and prevention, dvs (Deutsche Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft), the German association for sports science, WISS (Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft), the federal institute for sports science, FIMS (Federation Internationale de Medecine du Sport), EFSMA (European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations, EiM (American College of Sports Medicine), Sport Speaker, WT Wearable and Technologies Group. Industry partners include Kinexon, SmarTracks, Supersapiens and bioniq.


Author: Dr Lutz Retzlaff, medical journalist (Neuss, Germany)