The MyNextMatch Digital Medical Card represents ‘a huge step forward’ for medical professionals looking for a better understanding of combat sport injuries, according to Dr. Mike Loosemore (pictured, above left).
Dr. Loosemore, a consultant in sport and exercise medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health at University College Hospital in London, has worked with MyNextMatch to develop the Digital Medical Card, which he believes is long overdue.
He said: “I’ve been campaigning for years about getting some sort of coordinated, electronic system of collecting data on injuries in boxing bouts in England and I think the MyNextMatch Digital Medical Card system fulfills that wish.
“It will be a huge step forward in our knowledge of boxing injuries and hence our ability to reduce injuries that occur within boxing in England.”
Dr. Loosemore has been working in boxing as a doctor for over 25 years, including work with the British Olympic boxing team.
And while he says treatment of injuries has improved significantly in that time, he believes that even more could be achieved with greater access to reliable data.
He added: “I think over the last 25 years the management of injuries has improved but what has become clear to me, working in boxing, is that before you can prevent injuries you need to know what the commonest injuries are and what problems those injuries cause the boxers.
“For example, if you have a lot of bruises but nobody needs to take any time out then it is not really very important. But if you get a few fractured thumbs and people take four months out, then it’s obviously much more important to try and stop the fractured thumbs than the bruises.
“In terms of prevention, the first thing you have to know before you can prevent anything is what you’re trying to prevent. You need to know the injuries that boxers are getting when they box.
“At the moment, injury information is collected but it is collected on pieces of paper all over the country and there isn’t the time or the manpower to look at all those results and get a good sense of how many concussions there are or how many broken hands there are or how many broken jaws there are.
“Once there is an electronic medical system where every bout is monitored we will know exactly what is going on in the fights with the boxers. And once we know what is going on, then we can change policy to help prevent those injuries.
“In five or ten years time I would like us to have recorded the injury information from over a million bouts in England, to have the most accurate figures of what the injuries are and to work with the clubs in England to try to reduce those injuries to make the sport as safe as possible.”
The MyNextMatch Digital Medical Card system enables pre-approved doctors to record athletes’ annual medical assessment, pre- and post-bout assessments and any injuries sustained in training onto a secure centrally-held database.
And Loosemore is optimistic that the first-of-its-kind technology will not only revolutionise the way things are done in British boxing, but will become the international standard for all combat sports.
He said: “I think the technology is improving all the time and the ability to get these systems into place now is within reach.
“It’s always difficult to change the systems that have been around for years for something new and there is a natural resistance from people to change the way things have been done but it is such a positive change I hope people will embrace it and this will become a national and international standard for dealing with combat sports.”