The IOC are working with GE to compile cloud-based medical records ©GE

Cloud-based medical data management software developed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in conjunction with General Electric (GE) will be in operation during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it has been announced.

A cloud-based version of GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solutions (CPS) will be used as the official storage platform for electronic medical records (EMR).

By using this technology, which enables large groups of remote servers to share data and computer services, all medical information and research will be grouped together and more easily accessible. 

This is a "huge step forward", according to IOC medical director, Richard Budgett.

“The new EMR is going to be a cornerstone for our medical services,” he said.

“Not only will it ensure the provision of excellent medical and treatment services for the athletes during the Games, it will also facilitate scientific work to mitigate and prevent injuries and illnesses, where possible, in the future.

“Competing at the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of any athlete’s sporting career.

"It is a goal that requires years and decades of training, so the prospect of being deprived of the opportunity due to illness or injury which could be prevented is unthinkable.

"Working with GE, our goal is to create a system that helps ensure that athletes can deliver their best performance when it matters most.”

Athletes competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games could benefit from the new technology ©Getty Images
Athletes competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games could benefit from the new technology ©Getty Images

The new platform will facilitate the capture of much more detailed medical data about the athletes who visit the polyclinic and other medical stations during Games time, a statement explained.

This will enable "much smoother handling of patients and their data as they are seen by different personnel in the medical services, while also facilitating better data analysis and subsequent research on prevention of injury and illness in sport.

The system can be used to improve medical diagnostics for athletes, but also to generate detailed data that can be used by coaches to develop strategies for improving performance.

Similar technology has already been employed by United States teams at the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Games.

This "impressed the IOC so much that it plans to use a specially built EMR platform at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 to track records of everything from scans to medications to allergies".

The technology will be available at all medical posts at Games venues, and at the central clinic in the Athletes' Village.

It represents a further example of the work of GE - a member of the IOC's The Olympic Programme (TOP) sponsorship scheme - in the Games.

"We are excited to partner with the International Olympic Committee and offer medical providers and athletes from around the world access to a suite of advanced medical technologies at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” added John Flannery, President and chief executive of GE Healthcare.

"This includes, for the first time ever, universal Electronic Medical Records via Cloud technology that will enable real-time data, analytics and detailed health information to help athletes reach peak performance.”