By Nnamdi Odumody
Injuries to athletes cost their clubs and national teams millions of dollars annually in medical expenses. Marco Van Basten, the Dutch and AC Milan legendary striker, who wowed on the pitch with his skills and goal scoring prowess, had his career cut short at 28 years old due to recurring injuries. Marco Reus, the German attacker who was his nation’s best player prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup which his compatriots “Dier Manschatt’’ of Germany won had a long term injury which made him miss out of the Brazil World Cup Finals.
PSG attacker Angel Di Maria had injuries which made him miss two Cup Finals in 2014 against Germany and in 2015 versus Chile that his country Argentina finished as runners up. As a key player for his national team, his appearance might have boosted their fortunes as no team prays to lose any of its star performers to injuries which could keep them from participating in crucial matches.
A young female Southern African Mechanical Engineer Nneile Nkholise who is a sports enthusiast founded 3DIMO, a sports data science company that uses patient specific data to predict, analyze and help prevent sport injuries. It optimizes injury detection, prevention and rehabilitation using athlete specific biomechanical data. They have also used the technology in the healthcare area.
iMed Tech was founded by Lesotho-born Nneile Nkholise in 2015, who is a mechanical engineer by training. Nkholise has so far received a patent for a “breast prostheses retention bar” and her company is now based in Rivonia, Johannesburg. In an interview, Nkholise explained her reasons for setting up the company.
“IMED TECH WAS BIRTHED FROM MY MASTER’S RESEARCH ON THE APPLICATION OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FOR THE FABRICATION OF EXTERNAL MAXILLOFACIAL PROSTHESES. I REALIZED HOW THE DEMAND FOR PROSTHESES IS SO HIGH WHILE THE CURRENT METHODS FOR MANUFACTURING THEM COULDN’T MEET THESE DEMANDS.”
It does rapid injury diagnosis, long term performance monitoring plans, improved customized athlete conditioning program for peak performance enhancement, injury prone region digital imaging, data monitoring of 3D Virtual Moulds using algorithms to compare models for sport injury analysis for athletes. Also, it provides report on muscle joint forces of players during training and in games, in game injury video analysis zoomed into contact incidents for individual players.
It also helps medical specialists in planning for complex bone surgeries, reducing time for surgical procedures by optimizing efficiency in planning. It reduces risk in complex surgical procedures by using 3D virtual models for surgical planning.
3DIMO’s proprietary solution will help to accelerate the treatment of injuries to athletes thereby boosting their fitness and reducing the recurring costs which their clubs and management incur in taking them to the treatment table.