New Wearable Could Help Athletes Avoid Orthopedic Surgery and Improve PT

MEDCITY News—December 16, 2014

A wearable sensor developed by sports biomechanics company Motus Global to reduce the risk of Major League Baseball pitchers straining the ulnar collateral ligament is also being assessed for physical therapy with a major medical institution, according to an emailed statement from the company.

Here’s how it works. The Sleeve is worn on the pitcher’s elbow and contains a 3D motion sensor that gathers data on things like arm speed, pitch counts, and other relevant information. Trainers and managers use the data collected by a smartphone app to detect body changes such as UCL deterioration and other changes in pitchers’ and batters’ performance, according to a company statement. Although the Sleeve is intended to reduce the risk of injury in professional baseball, the plan is to make it available on the consumer market as well. Hospital for Special Surgery is among its partners. A couple of physicians from the hospital joined Motus’ advisory board in the run-up to the launch.

Dr. David Altchek is an Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon and Co-Chief Emeritus in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He is the Medical Director for the New York Mets. Dr. Joshua Dines is a member of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He is also an assistant team physician for the Mets.

“With children playing sports at an earlier age and on a year-round schedule, we are seeing an epidemic of overuse injuries and having to do surgeries at a progressively younger age. We’re not going to change the sports culture, so anything that can change the damage should be aggressively supported,” said Dines.

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