IOC turns to GE electronic medical records for Rio Olympics

Electronic medical records will be used to manage the health data at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which begin Aug. 5, according to an announcement from GE Healthcare, which will be providing the systems.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected GE Healthcare's Centricity Practice Solution to handle the health interactions of not only the athletes, but also their family members, coaches, official, and spectators, a first for the Olympics. The EMRs, which will be available in both English and Portuguese, will be used in the provision of individual care, and also will help the IOC manage population health, spot patterns and provide insights for future games planning.

"The Olympic Games is about providing the best possible service to athletes," Richard Budgett, Medical and Scientific Director for the IOC, said in a statement. "Adding access to an electronic medical record is key to our drive towards the prevention of injury. Without a proper medical, longitudinal record, it's difficult for us to do surveillance and see what injuries are most common in certain sports. This would impact our ability to prevent and measure our effectiveness. The EMR is going to be a cornerstone for our medical services going forward."

This is not GE Healthcare's first foray into the Olympics. The U.S. Olympic Committee used Centricity Practice Solution at both the London and Sochi games, and intends on using it at least through the 2020 games.

Other sports organizations also have transitioned to EHRs for their athletes. The NFL entered into a partnership with eClinicalWorks to provide EHRs to team physicians; the records contain players' on- and offseason medical data, and players can connect to their records via a patient portal.  The NBA is working with Cerner.

To learn more:
- check out the GE Healthcare announcement