GE Healthcare, NBA collaborate on orthopedic, sports medicine research

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Waukesha-based GE Healthcare and the NBA announced today a collaboration to promote orthopedic and sports medicine research benefitting the health and wellness of NBA players, as well as athletes of all levels across the general population. The multi-year alliance will focus on joint health and acute and overuse musculoskeletal injuries–challenges faced by NBA players and the general population alike.

“NBA players are among the best athletes in the world, and their well-being is the league’s highest priority,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “Our support for medical research through our partnership with GE Healthcare will help us improve the long-term health and wellness of NBA players. We are also excited that this research collaboration will provide important insights to athletes at all levels.”

Serving to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions among NBA players, the effort aims to promote health and wellness, reduce injuries, lengthen careers and improve post-career health for NBA players. GE Healthcare and the NBA will also collaborate with additional partners, including NBA partners adidas, Kaiser Permanente, Nike and Under Armour, to advance the research efforts.

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“Musculoskeletal injuries extend beyond the basketball court and negatively impact sports enthusiasts and everyday athletes around the world,” said GE Healthcare president and chief executive officer John Flannery. “By combining GE’s know-how in healthcare imaging technology and the NBA’s interest in promoting player health and safety, we are working to help prevent the most common sports injuries and improve treatment.”

The collaboration will be guided by a strategic advisory board made up of physicians and clinical researchers representing institutions across the U.S. who have demonstrated excellence in orthopedics, sports medicine, radiology and related disciplines. Dr. John DiFiori, the NBA director of sports medicine and a past president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, will serve as the chair of the board. Additionally, DiFiori will be joined on the board by team physicians from five NBA clubs.

The NBA and GE Healthcare will also provide funding for clinical researchers working to study diagnostic and preventative techniques to identify risks for the development of orthopedic conditions. This research will contribute to a deeper understanding of overuse injuries and the resulting impact on athletes’ health and missed playing time. The NBA and GE Healthcare plan to elicit research proposals later this year.

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