LaLiga and ThermoHuman work together to reduce the injury incidence

LaLiga and ThermoHuman work together to reduce the injury incidence

30/06/2021 By: Ismael Fernández Cuevas & Alejandro del Estal Home

ThermoHuman collaborates with LaLiga to facilitate and improve its thermography services to Spanish first and second division soccer teams through pilot projects with the aim of reducing the injury incidence. Confirming the effectiveness of thermography for the prevention and monitoring of injuries and providing disruptive technology to LaLiga teams are the key points of this collaboration.

It all started in 2019 with a competition between 279 startups. Only 25 reached the last phase, where a jury of LaLiga, Microsoft and GSIC selected the 10 winners. The objective was clear: to choose the most cutting-edge projects in different areas in order to offer LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank teams (Spanish first and second division) the opportunity to test them. ThermoHuman was one of those 10 winners. Thanks to this initiative, ThermoHuman has been able to collaborate with clubs such as Real Sociedad, obtaining results on thermography and injury prevention that confirm those already published at a scientific level. Besides we have the experience and testimony of international and national clients such as Fluminense (Brazil), FC Dallas (MLS, United States) or Atlético de Madrid.

How did the collaboration between LaLiga and ThermoHuman start?

ThermoHuman is a member of the Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC) from Microsoft since practically its inception. This association offers, among other advantages, business opportunities and events to promote synergies and growth opportunities for institutions and companies linked to the world of sport. In January 2019, LaLiga and GSIC launched together the Startup competition 2019, by The Original Inspiration Center .

This competition aimed to select the best startups in the sports and entertainment industry, divided between those aimed at: media, fan engagement, smart venue, sports performance and other applications. The key factor was to highlight disruptive ideas that could provide solutions that help LaLiga and its teams continue to grow.

ThermoHuman: one of the 10 LaLiga winners

For the Startup competition 2019 279 startups from 55 countries signed up. There were only 25 who got their place in the final that was held on June 6, 2019. Among them, only the top 10 were awarded by LaLiga and GSIC. ThermoHuman with its pioneering thermography solution for prevention and monitoring of injuries was one of those awarded. Those 10 projects carried out a week of immersion with various training events and a final presentation to all the teams of the Spanish first and second division during the World Football Summit.

As a result of the Startup Competition and that final presentation, since October 2019 ThermoHuman has developed together with LaLiga a pilot project with Real Sociedad, (published by El Confidencial)

Science and clients, ThermoHuman and its results with top soccer teams

These projects have only confirmed what ThermoHuman and other research groups have already showed with scientific results gathered together with prestigious institutions such as UD Levante, Fluminense (Brazil), FC Dallas (MLS team, United States) or Atlético de Madrid: thermography is a valid tool for the prevention and monitoring of injuries.

Infographic on results of injury prevention with thermography in 3 professional teams of LaLiga, Liga NOS and Brazilian championship (source ThermoHuman)

Indeed, we recently showed the scientific results of 3 studies with soccer teams (above image) in different professional leagues with reductions between 64% and 74% in muscle injuries after the implementation of a thermography protocol. In addition to that, we highlight the testimony of Skylar Richards (Director of Physiology and Performance at Orlando City) about his experience using thermography (you can listen to a summary of his statements below).

The relationship between skin temperature and muscle damage in soccer players is becoming a more and more interesting topic in recent years, which we talk about in this post based on the study of Andrade et al. (2017). In this regard, it is specially interesting the article, which has been recently published by Hoffman et al. (2020). It shows the close relationship between injuries and team performance with data collected over 20 years in the Australian professional football league.

ThermoHuman Injury Prevention Methodology

Injuries are a multifactorial problem that requires multiple solutions. Among them, ThermoHuman helps the implementation of thermography as another tool for the objective, rapid and non-invasive assessment of soccer players. Its software allows automatic and quantitative analysis of images, and the creation of metrics and reports that the technical and medical staff can use in real time to combine with other technologies (GPS, heart rate, CK, wellness, etc.) to make decisions about the training load or the recovery phases during an injury.

“…injuries are a problem that continues to grow despite improvements in technology and methodology. Their influence is not only detrimental to health player and team performance, but also has an economic impact both for the teams and for the reputation and interest of the competition. Therefore, both ThermoHuman and LaLiga have a common interest in reducing the injury incidence…”

Ismael Fernández Cuevas, ThermoHuman co-founder

Together with LaLiga teams

Thanks to ThermoHuman’s collaboration with LaLiga to reduce injury incidence, some clubs such as Real Sociedad (current champion of the Copa del Rey), have been able to enjoy thermal image analysis services during the 2020/2021 season. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, professionals from LaLiga, Real Sociedad and ThermoHuman have carried out an investigation on the efficacy of thermography for the prevention of injuries with very promising results that will be published at a scientific level in the coming months.

Conclusion

From the ThermoHuman team we are especially excited that LaLiga and its teams trust in our project to develop collaborations and improve our processes. Together we can continue to improve the health of the players, the performance of the teams and the interest and reputation of LaLiga.

If you want to know more, be sure to visit the news about this project at El Confidencial, Forbes and the official one from LaLiga.


de Andrade Fernandes, A., Pimenta, E.M., Moreira, D.G. et al. Skin temperature changes of under-20 soccer players after two consecutive matches. Sport Sci Health 13, 635–643 (2017).

Hoffman DT, Dwyer DB, Bowe SJ, et al. Is injury associated with team performance in elite Australian football? 20 years of player injury and team performance data that include measures of individual player value. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020; 54:475-479.

Europa Thermohuman ThermoHuman has had the support of the Funds of the European Union and the Community of Madrid through the Operational Programme on Youth Employment. Likewise, ThermoHuman within the framework of the Export Initiation Program of ICEX NEXT, had the support of ICEX and the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).