Sport and Wellbeing Analytics (SWA) are a Swansea-based company who are passionate about health, performance and wellbeing. We are focused on improving welfare and performance in elite contact sports through the use of real time analytics.
SWA builds capabilities to analyse events that impact player welfare and performance based on the latest sensor and software technologies combined with key scientific research, allowing for real time intervention. The system can also take data from other systems such as GPS and combine them to provide even greater insight into player loads.
Over the last three years SWA, in conjunction Ospreys Rugby and researchers at Swansea University, have developed new technology fitted to a player’s gum shield, combining this with state of the art software technology to deliver the best information available on the impacts received by players in training or competitive matches.
We are passionate about making contact sports safer and thereby encouraging more players into these sports and become the future world stars. We are driven to protect the players and the game of rugby where the effects of head impacts are a global concern.
Whilst our system does not prevent, predict or diagnose a concussion, use of the system can lead to identification of unseen and unexpected head impacts the elimination of which could positively affect performance.
With only 5% of the wearable sports technology accurately measuring what they say they measure we set out to ensure we do things right. Our multiskilled team of engineers, sports scientists, biomechanists and software developers, in collaboration with leading experts at Swansea University, have been working meticulously to ensure that the PROTECHT system is the gold standard in monitoring head impacts. We have fully validated the system not just against highly calibrated instruments but also with human subjects in the lab and on the pitch to ensure its accuracy.
The PROTECHT system provides objective real-time surveillance of head impacts by sending the details of each impact received by a player through the mouthguard to the side of the pitch and providing instant feedback to support staff. The results can then be used to:
• Provide objective data to pitch-side staff in real time to aid decision making on head impact related incidents in training or in games;
• Help plan and manage training, through the performance metric dashboard.
A number of sensors are embedded within the the OPRO+ Mouthguard which transmits in real time to a pitch side receiver. These sensors capture both linear and rotational acceleration.
First and foremost the key benefit of the system is to improve player safety. The ability to monitor and measure head impacts that may go unseen is vital in protecting players throughout their career.
Secondly, the ability to use analytics to help plan and amend the training program of the squad or player. For example, the reports may indicate that you are doing too much contact throughout the week or in contrast you’re not doing enough with your players to help make them properly prepared for competition.
Lastly with concussion accounting for 25% of all match injuries and the increase in rugby union lawsuits. The use of this system will ensure you have left no stone unturned and you have gone above and beyond to ensure the player is as safe as possible.
“The benefit of this system is it provides real time data, assessing impacts that may otherwise have escaped people’s attention, enabling the medical teams to react and manage accordingly, helping to create a safer environment.”
Ospreys Managing Director Andrew Millward
No. PROTECHT is a surveillance tool. It cannot replace the medical practitioner’s assessment and judgement of the player. The system provides another source of data for rugby staff to consider
The PROTECHT system offers instant feedback that can be viewed and used as it happens. It also provides a deeper analytics capability that can be used with the data collected from a training session or game and compared to any session in the past where the system was used. However, we know and appreciate the time constraints involved with a professional club. We have therefore put a sports scientist inside the system and provided a dynamic ability to review the data in formats that you will already be familiar with. The interpretation and judgement will always be where it should be, with you, the rugby professional.
Your player’s data is stored securely in the cloud in a fully certified SAP commercial data centre. Each customer has their own separate database with separate access controls managed by you. This ensures that not only is your data separated from any other customer’s data but access is carefully controlled too. Under our contract with you, we have your agreement that we can use an anonymised copy of your data for research purposes to refine and improve the algorithms we have built. This will directly benefit in the form of product improvements.
Yes. With the electronics placed away from the front of the mouth, it means that the mouthguard can be used in both helmeted and non helmeted sports. The system has already been used in a number of sports such as rugby, American football, lacrosse, skeleton bobsleigh, martial arts, ice hockey and field hockey.
PROTECHT is a subscription service and as a result we provide all equipment including player mouthguards for you to use the system with your team.
For our PROTECHT Pro pack which is for elite teams, the subscription will include:
• 40 OPRO+ Mouthguards
• Pitch side receiver
• Edge Device
• Charging Case for 24 mouthguards
• Tripod for Receiver
• UK & EU power cables
• ICap tent for Edge device
• Mouthguard cleaning products
Our equipment is stored in two robust pelicase’s for ease of transport
All relevant safety and compliance testing has been completed to EU and UK requirements.
Though this should not happen all electronics within the mouth guards have been coated in an inert polymer as found in pacemakers to ensure that they pass through the body safely.
The radiation transmitted is less than what you would find in a mobile phone and has passed all necessary safety testing both in the UK and EU.
No. The electronics have not compromised the protective elements of the mouthguard in any way
The mouthguard takes about an hour to charge in the charging case provided.
When fully charged, the mouthguard has about 4 hours of battery life when out of the charging case. The mouthguards should not be left on permanent charge as this will compromise the battery life.
Due to our subscription model, the mouthguards are designed to last for one year. Replacements are provided each season as part of the package. SWA will replace any broken mouthguards during the season, unless the damage was caused by abuse such as excessive chewing or loss.
No. The edge device can hold the data from a session however to be able to compare this to an athletes previous loadings, a connection is required in order to be able to access the cloud.
SWA have been working with researchers in Swansea University to validate the system. All published research can be found here