Developments done in the context of the Sports Tech Research Network
Assessing the quality of a piece of technology for sports is a difficult thing to do. Consumers may find information from peers or experts on the net, whereas scientists and practitioners may also look at some of the scientific literature at hand. Some of the (inter)national sports federations run their own scouting and selection programs with the objective to identify the most promising solutions for their sport, something which is done at club level here and there as well.
However, a comprehensive framework including the key parameters to take into account has never been designed for these type of solutions.
Bodies such as national governments, the European Commission or the American FDA are not concerned with sports technology, which is understandable. Their primary focus is on the quality of products that may be relevant for the diagnosis and treatment of (life) threatening conditions and on innovations that could cause major(er) human harm.
As a consequence, a group of experts from Europe, Australia and the USA (of which we were part) took the initiative to create a first version of such framework. The lead was taken by the group of Prof. Sam Robertson at Victoria University. By means of a Delphi study, the aim was to develop a standardized, evidence-based framework to guide the evaluation of sports technologies. In developing the framework, a review of standards, guidelines and research into sports technology was conducted.
Following this, 55 experts across the sports industry were presented with a draft framework for feedback. Following a two-round survey, the final framework consisted of 25 measurable features grouped under five quality pillars.
The framework may not only assist organizations in designing and refining sports technology to optimize quality and industry standards, but can also guide purchasing decisions. By reading the document, you will gain access to a common language that facilitates efficient decision-making for organizations, manufacturers, investors, and consumers in the sports technology domain.
You can DOWNLOAD the resulting WHITE PAPER in open access HERE at the site of our Sports Tech Research Network initiative, as this work is the result of a first Special Interest Group within the broader network.