Providing certified concussion education is critical to safety in sport
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and Safe MMA have partnered with digital healthcare disruptor Certific to deliver a pilot project in athlete brain health training for the 2022 IMMAF European Championships. Recognising concussion symptoms early and managing any injury are critical issues and athlete education is vital to risk management for sport.
Registered UK charity Safe MMA is the independent provider of athlete medical preclearance services for IMMAF competitions. The project will see remote concussion training included as part of an athlete’s preclearance requirements for entry into IMMAF competitions, alongside their existing blood tests and medical examinations.
Digital disruptor in healthcare, Certific, provides a scalable and innovative technology platform that is fully customisable for sports organisations for the delivery of bespoke training content. Unique to the platform is its ability to verify and authenticate an athlete’s identity and to ensure they are actively engaged with the training through a unique video-recorded quality assurance process. After these checks, Certific issues a training certificate to the athlete which is reported to the organising sports body. Certific’s platform already enables the certification of remote at-home medical procedures and health monitoring for multiple conditions to best-in-class medical standards.
IMMAF National Federations in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Norway have been invited to participate in the pilot for the IMMAF Euros taking place in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) next week from 27 September to 1 October. Based on the success of the pilot, IMMAF’s aim is to see the concussion training programme eventually implemented as a mandatory requirement of entry to IMMAF competition for all athletes.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“Concussion is a concern to all contact sport federations and one that the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation takes extremely seriously. Education is vital for the identification of concussion symptoms and proper management of injuries. Certific’s solution facilitates this education. It is the duty of governing bodies to educate their members on this critical issue and it is a further step in the delivery of enhanced risk management that can give comfort to athletes and governing bodies alike.”
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Certific, co-founder of Safe MMA Dr Jack Kreindler:
“Having worked with sport medicine patients and high performing athletes for 25 years and seeing the rise of popularity in contact sports and MMA, the need for ever improving competitor safety at both amateur and professional levels is essential, and part of my personal mandate in founding the Safe MMA charity. This partnership with IMMAF is an exciting opportunity and an important milestone for us. Certific is decentralising and democratising important aspects of healthcare through technology that gives people the power to quality assure medical processes that previously required professional supervision. This includes self-directed training on injury prevention and concussion recovery. We are excited to show how Certific’s platform can advance athlete medical safety through our certified training without the need or cost for booking an appointment.”
Marlene O’Griffin, Event Manager and Medical Safety Lead for Team Ireland said:
“Team Ireland was honoured to be part of the pilot team in the brain health training, especially since we hold the global gold standard for medical safety. All Irish MMA athletes are required to have a once-off MRI scan to ensure they have no underlying conditions which preclude them from taking part in combat sport before being allowed to take part in an amateur MMA bout. So team Ireland already understands the importance of this programme and welcomes its introduction. Certific provides a clear step-by-step process that ensures that the athlete is engaging with the training and the information is delivered clearly, with guidelines, advice and a little exam at the end to ensure that they have understood. It’s fantastic that SAFE MMA and IMMAF are putting so much into the health and care of all our athletes, setting the standard for combat sports worldwide.”