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England and Wales Cricket Board to improve players’ medical data

Cricketers’ medical images will be stored securely in an independent clinical archive, enabling clinicians to access medical data and make treatment decisions more quickly

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has signed up to deploy an independent clinical archive to better protect, store and share players’ medical data.

The archive, from Bridgehead, will first be used just for radiology images, but will later be extended to cover all medical images.  

Clinicians will then be able to access and share the data with anyone given permission to view it. This means that if a player is injured while playing abroad, for instance, clinicians can instantly view the player’s historical injuries and quickly decide on the best course of treatment. 

Having access to historical data can also enable doctors to create the best techniques and protocols for dealing with players and their injuries.

The ECB’s head of IT, Damian Smith, said: “The management of elite sport medical data commands the best solutions.

“We are continually seeking ways to improve the way we do things. As a result, we have been on a hunt for the right solution to store, protect and share our clinical images.”

The BridgeHead system allows clinicians to view images on mobile devices without any data being left on the device itself.

Smith said the ECB “has a responsibility for our players’ medical data from every form of cricket for men and women”.

He added: “The far-reaching consequences of this information falling into the wrong hands means that we are very focused on compliance to athlete data privacy and security. Protecting valuable player information is much easier once you have all your data in one location.” 

In a recent interview with Computer Weekly, Smith said there is a massive opportunity in cricket to take advantage of technology. The ECB runs cricket across 18 first-class clubs in England and Wales, which requires a huge amount of IT systems. In the elite space, this includes “biomedicine, telemetry, video analysis and medical surveillance”, said Smith. 

Big data underpins everything. It is hugely important from a performance perspective, so that we can analyse the opposition and our own players, to make them better cricketers, make them fitter and reduce the number of injuries they sustain.”

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