OPRO and Sports & Wellbeing Analytics launch head impact monitoring and management system with micro-chipped mouthguards

OPRO, the leading provider of technically advanced mouthguards across the globe and winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2019, are proud to announce their partnership with Sports & Wellbeing Analytics (SWA) in the launch of OPRO+, their next generation of mouthguard with cutting-edge technology built in known as the PROTECHT system, a system that monitors and manages head impact data. Whereas a GPS system focuses on the running aspects of the game, the collation and analysis of this impact data allows coaches to optimise training drills, reducing unintended impact load and avoiding training injuries in the contact part of the game.

The issue is that until now, there has been no objective way to monitor all head impacts, to measure the force of impact and the rotation of the head as a result of impact. According to the latest injury data from Premiership Rugby, almost 40% of injuries occur in training and 20% of head injuries, despite this being a more controllable environment. Application of the PROTECHT system allows coaches to optimise team training drills to reduce impacts while still achieving overall training and performance goals.

OPRO+ mouthguards containing the PROTECHT chips provide rugby with a solution by transmitting the head impact data of each player to a laptop. This provides objective information about impacts experienced by the team and in training, in certain positions during the drill. The coach is then able to adjust accordingly to optimise performance through drill enhancement and to reduce unintended impacts.

PROTECHT has been developed and fine-tuned for over two years by Sports & Wellbeing Analytics. PROTECHT will benefit the wellbeing and the performance of a team by monitoring training data over time to understand the size, frequency and types of impact. Head impact data collected allows coaches to make informed training choices.

Parallels can be drawn between the values of SWA and OPRO, who both have a passion for the sport of rugby and take an innovative and creative approach to design. Independently of each other they have set about increasing their understanding of impacts occasioned by rugby players in their training and on the pitch. OPRO have even taken their research overseas, collaborating with leading institutions in America on head motion research to obtain a better understanding of head impacts in rugby.

OPRO, who have been involved with the sport of Rugby for 21 years and are the official mouthguard partner of England Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, Australia Rugby and 11 of the 12 Gallagher Premiership teams, will continue negotiations with their current partners to make OPRO+ available to as many elite teams as possible. The end goal being that OPRO+ will be available to amateur, as well as elite teams.

OPRO Chief Executive Officer David Allen commented: “OPRO+ is the next stage in the evolution of our mouthguards. The data OPRO+ provides will help us all to better understand and manage impact and in play collision.

“Players will wear their OPRO+ mouthguards during training, so that team staff will continually be able to collect data that will give a clear picture of a the team's day to day impact in the contact part of the game in a similar way that GPS systems do for the running game.

SWA Chief Executive Officer Chris Turner said “The development of the PROTECHT system has ultimately been focused on one key priority; reducing the volume and intensity of impacts for the players. The system allows objective surveillance so that unseen head impacts are recognised and understood and this data provides a new layer of information that will inform coaches to enable them to make better informed decisions about training drill design and allowing them to reduce unintended impacts in training. This adds a new layer of data to aid performance management for the team. We are excited about this new partnership with OPRO who are the most experienced manufacturers of mouth guards in the world.

“We are already seeing that this data is supporting the performance environment of a rugby club as adaptations can be made to training loads and drills and as the PROTECHT system provides a far greater understanding of the occurrence and intensity of impacts.”

For more information go to www.opromouthguards.com or www.swa.one

For press enquiries please contact Holly Hale on hollyh@thephgroup.com or 0207 4400 817

About OPRO

Founded over 20 years ago by dentist Dr Anthony Lovat, OPRO is the world’s most technically advanced mouthguard company and a leading pioneer in oral protection. Through the development and deployment of cutting-edge technology and the use of innovative design and production methods, OPRO has been at the forefront of protecting the safety of athletes at all levels, across a range of different sports, for more than two decades.

The family owned and run company is based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, and all products are designed and manufactured within the UK, and available worldwide through a network of retailers and distributors.

OPRO is the official mouthguard partner of a number of professional sporting organisations, including England Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, Australia Rugby, Great Britain Taekwondo, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Great Britain and England Hockey, USA Rugby, American Youth Football, Pop Warner Little Scholars, 11 Gallagher Premiership Rugby teams and the German, French, Italian, Cameroonian and Northern Ireland Mixed Martial Arts Federations.

All OPRO mouthguards are legally CE certified and in 2019 and 2007 the company was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in recognition of its ground-breaking work in the field of oral protection.

About Sports & Wellbeing Analytics

Sports & Wellbeing Analytics believe in the virtues of rugby and aims to support the future of the game by helping teams and their coaches to understand how drill design affects unintended impacts on players.

Sports & Wellbeing Analytics is a Welsh company reared by real rugby people who care for the future of the game. Combining the latest technologies with research to deliver innovative solutions in sports welfare.

SWA were founded in 2016 in Swansea, by a small group investors with the objective of applying the latest developments in science and technology to real problems using real time analytics for predictive intervention. They are working very closely with our partners at Swansea University, for the scientific research, Keytree Limited for the technology solutions, Philtronics for the electronic components and utilising an enterprise grade SAP Cloud Platform. The initial focus is on head impact for contact sports, specifically Rugby Union.

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