During the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, the world’s eyes were on the athletes as they achieved marvelous feats by pushing the boundaries of human abilities; behind the scenes, realtime analytics and the cloud played their part too. The gold medals may be awarded and the closing ceremonies may be through in PyeongChang, but a cloud-based analytics solution that debuted at the games will continue to be a part of the Olympic story looking ahead to the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. The analytics tool exemplifies the value cloud can play in analyzing realtime data for IoT (Internet of Things) solutions in healthcare and beyond.

In conjunction with the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, GE Healthcare, www.gehealthcare.com, and the IOC (Intl. Olympic Committee), www.olympic.org/the-ioc, deployed a precision health tool that provides realtime analytics on athlete injury and illness data, allowing medical staff to not only personalize treatment for each athlete but also identify trends in injuries and illnesses across the games. GE’s cloud-based AMS (athlete management solution) collects multiple kinds of data, including imaging scans, patient vitals, and information specific to each venue, event, and sport, and provides realtime dashboards accessible remotely by clinicians whenever and wherever needed.

The solution allows clinicians to input and/or access patients’ health data directly from a tablet, and its multilingual nature (supported languages include English, French, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, and Korean) allows team doctors to collaborate with team doctors from other countries in their native languages. The ultimate goal—not unlike other IoT solutions—is to provide the data end users need to make fast, informed decisions, in this case for the treatment of athletes and sports spectators.

The cloud solution also collects data that can be used to identify overarching trends, such as flagging injury hotspots according to event, sport, or venue and recognizing spikes in illnesses among spectators. For this latest round of Olympic Games, representatives from the United States Center for Disease Control, the Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Public Health England Centre of Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control were all trained to use the solution for public health monitoring throughout the two-week event. These insights will inform long-term improvements to health and safety for the 2020 summer games in Tokyo and beyond.

GE’s analytics solution for athletes represents the power of cloud computing for collecting, processing, and analyzing large amounts of data that can be used to inform decisionmaking across an unlimited number of applications in a virtually unlimited number of vertical markets. Concurrent trends in healthcare are also making edge or fog computing more valuable for applications that rely on more immediate processing. For instance, as wearable medical devices become more prominent, the ability to process data at the edge of a network and, therefore, reduce the amount of end-to-end latency inherent in cloud architectures can enable life-saving applications of the IoT.

In one example, imagine a heart device running an algorithm to detect an arrhythmia. If the wearer has an issue, such as a heart attack, and the device needs to deliver a shock, there’s no time to send a message from Wi-Fi to the Internet to the cloud and back. However, for long-term data analysis or processing of large data sets, cloud still reigns supreme. For Olympic athletes now and in the future, data analytics powered by the cloud will help ensure they can compete at the highest level possible for their countries.

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