RELEASED ON 2 MARCH 2020
Ice hockey team Jokerit and Finnish health technology company Ainone have signed a two-year cooperation agreement on the use of a balance measurement application developed by Ainone, benefiting from long-term experience in the detection and rehabilitation of concussion in sport.
Under the cooperation agreement, Jokerit will begin the systematic early-stage diagnosis and monitoring of concussion in players. This investment in players’ health and wellbeing appears to be unique worldwide, since it combines the latest balance measurement technology with the team’s sports expertise. An estimated 4,000 concussion cases occur each year in various sports in Finland.
In detecting and preventing concussion, it is essential to perform a pre-season baseline performance test on players to provide a more reliable basis for evaluating possible play-related injuries. Baseline performance testing of this kind involves the measurement of key elements in the detection of brain injuries, such as memory, reaction time, processing ability, and balance. In recent years, Jokerit has conducted these tests on members of its KHL team, and the new agreement will extend the practice to the C2, C, B and A junior teams.
“It’s great that the methods used for the early detection of concussion in the Finnish ice hockey league and North America will now be introduced for junior teams. In addition, balance plays a crucial role in the functional ability and performance of all of us, whether we are top athletes, everyday exercisers, or rehabilitees. This club-wide operating model will place Jokerit at the forefront of investment in player well-being internationally”, says Matti Vartiainen, CEO of Ainone.
Vartiainen is one of Ainone’s founding partners and a physiotherapist. In May, he will defend his PhD dissertation, on cognitive and motor disorders associated with minor brain injuries and concussion in sports, at the University of Helsinki.
“Investing in the health and well-being of players of all ages is our number one priority, and Jokerit wants to lead the way in this. Even sports professionals have only just realised how crucial it is for players to identify the factors typical of concussion, and assess and monitor balance”, says Jari Kurri, Chairman of the Board of Jokerit.
Ainone is a Finnish health technology company developing mobile applications for measuring human performance, which utilise sensor technology and artificial intelligence. The first product, Ainone Balance®, is a CE marked medical device intended for healthcare and sports coaching professionals.
Jokerit is a Finnish ice hockey club, founded in 1967, with a professional team playing in the international KHL League, and junior teams in the oldest age categories in the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation’s series. Jokerit junior teams have 600 players, a figure which rises to 3,000 junior players when cooperating clubs are included.
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