by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | July 14, 2023
The University of Wisconsin Athletics will be the first among professional and collegiate athletics groups to utilize a new MR imaging service that creates 3D digital twins of MR scans to evaluate muscles and tendons to adjust training and performance programming, and manage injuries to these areas better.
The solution pairs Springbok Analytics AI software for quantifying individual muscle volume, quality and asymmetry with Shared Medical Services’ mobile imaging unit, which houses a GE HealthCare SIGNA Voyager AIR Edition Mobile MR scanner to assess basketball players at UW-Madison.
Springbok’s technology allows users to capture full lower extremity images of the tendon in under 20 minutes of scan time; and with group assessments, teams, leagues and coaches within the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and collegiate athletics will be able to compare muscle data among various positions, sports, and other specific populations for preventive care and training, injury recovery, and return-to-play protocols.
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"MR scanners are expensive and are not on-site at many universities or sports training facilities. Springbok can now deliver this essential technology directly to teams, reducing the time and logistical complications of sending athletes to hospitals or imaging centers,” said Paul Zahn, vice president of business development at SMS, in a statement.
Springbok assigns muscle volume metrics to compare against normative data to identify muscles that are larger or smaller on average, and translates complex musculoskeletal data into 3D visualizations that are detailed and color-coded to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses.
The solution comes with an interactive viewer, and can also be used to assess the effectiveness of exercise, nutrition, and interventions to preserve muscle health.