ORRECO Taps IBM Watson to Boost Performance of Olympic Athletes

Nike Oregon Track Club Elite adopts ORRECO Coach Watson app to equip globally ranked competitive runners with insights on injury recovery, training and nutrition

Sep 24, 2015, 00:20 ET from ORRECO

SLIGO, Ireland, Sept. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, ORRECO, provider of biomarker analysis for professional athletes and international teams, announced it has joined IBM's Watson Ecosystem and has developed an app powered by IBM Watson that provides personalized strategies to help optimize athletic performance. The Nike Oregon Track Club Elite will use Coach Watson to individualize the training load and inform planning around competition, travel schedules and recovery plans.

Athletes are under intense pressure to excel, constantly risking injury, illness and time on the sidelines. In 2014 the MLB lost $1.13bn in value due to injuries.  By leveraging Watson's cognitive capabilities to draw insights from deep analysis of sports science and player data, ORRECO is developing the Coach Watson app to arm athletes, coaches and teams with the critical information they need to make better informed decisions about training and performance. Watson helps coaches rapidly search the latest sports science research and find answers to specific topics such as athlete hydration, nutrition, altitude training, travel stress, jet lag, compression, recovery and sleep. 

For each athlete ORRECO uses blood biomarkers to generate an individualized 'Readiness to perform Index' (RTPI). The RTPI is enhanced with data aggregated from a range of sources such as GPS, wearables, heatmaps, and food diaries. The resulting snapshot of an athlete's performance and training profile is analyzed using proprietary statistical and quantitative analysis and predictive modeling that reference the biomarker profiles of more than 1,500 world-class athletes. This unique database provides ORRECO with proprietary insights into what differentiates elite athletes and how to optimize their performance.

"We all know there is no shortage of data in professional sports," said Mark Rowland, head coach at Nike Oregon Track Club Elite.  "The challenge always is in making the data and information actionable. I can see Coach Watson becoming an invaluable resource for both coaches and athletes alike. Initially, we plan to use Coach Watson to help us keep up to date with the latest research in important topics like sleep, recovery, altitude training and performance nutrition."

By utilizing the Watson Q&A APIs, Coach Watson will help predict the likelihood of injury or under-performance as well as provide recommended prompts to the athletes to help improve recovery rates, optimize training response, and protect against excessive fatigue and overtraining.

"ORRECO is committed to providing holistic solutions to athletes as quickly as possible in order to help them excel while protecting them from potential illness and injury," said Dr. Brian Moore, ORRECO's co-founder and CEO. "With IBM Watson, we're able to put real-time sports science in the hands of performance teams. This partnership greatly enhances the speed at which our insights can be delivered to our clients, thereby improving the power, potential and competitive edge of the athlete."

ORRECO's approach has assisted in the training and rehabilitation of numerous Olympic medalists and professional athletes. Other athletes and sports franchises that rely on ORRECO's biomarker analysis for training support and guidance include golfer and US Open winner Graeme McDowell, 3-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, and F1 teams among many other elite athletes.

ORRECO has been analyzing data for more than 15 years for more than 1500 elite athletes across 5 Olympics and 16 different sports. Over the past 3 years alone ORRECO has advised teams in the NBA, MLB, UK Premier League, pro golfers and F1 teams. It was founded in Ireland in November 2010 by Dr. Brian Moore and Dr. Andrew Hodgson to enable athletes to perform at their best. Additional information on ORRECO can be found at www.ORRECO.com

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson is the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

To advance Watson, IBM has two dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries, and Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from data to and deliver personalized healthcare

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/Watson and ibm.com/press/watson

For more information on the Watson Developer Cloud, visit: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/ibmwatson/developercloud/

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