Gazing into the Future of Sports Medicine and Performance: Pioneering a Pathway for Precision Training and Care

Adam Kiefer
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Research Education, Division of Sports Medicine

In January 2015, former president Barack Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative to chart a new, federally-funded course for medical research. This approach, grounded in panomic technologies (e.g., genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) to profile and target complex disease states, capitalized on the momentum of genomic science to inform precise treatments tailored to each patient or group. While this initiative has continued to build momentum in the molecular and pharmacological sciences, for a variety of reasons these approaches have not yet proven viable for sports injury recovery or performance enhancement. My research is focused on the expansion of these concepts into sports medicine to develop a new approach to athlete training and care. This approach leverages specific concepts from precision medicine, while drawing inspiration from the fields of evolutionary biology and complexity science, to build an innovative computational behavior-based precision framework for sport. Through a series of studies, I will demonstrate why quantifying perceptual-motor performance is foundational to this approach and a crucial first step to accurate prognoses. I will then discuss my team’s efforts to bridge the divide between the sterile laboratory and the playing field through portable mixed-reality (XR) and behavioral assessment technologies in combination with innovative modeling techniques. I will conclude with a first look at our exclusive XR Core platform for multi-user training applications that will catalyze development of the ultimate living laboratory for precision sports medicine.