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The Todd Gurley factor: A Velocity startup’s quest to manage player injury and recovery

For Super Bowl LIII this weekend, the New England Patriots will play the Los Angeles Rams for the Lombardi Trophy. It’s Tom Brady vs Jared Goff! But all media and NFL fans wanted to know this week is the following: Is the Rams running back Todd Gurley hurt or not?

TL;DR: Is Todd Gurley hurt? Hope not. NFL simply has (too) many injuries per game. Alexa Roeper’s PentaVO can change the game in NFL sports therapy. When’s Super Bowl this year?

Date: Sunday February 3, 2019

Kickoff @ 6:30 pm

With Halftime performances from Maroon 5!

You’re welcome.

Injuries during NFL games are all too common

Despite denials from the Rams, many NFL fans think that his injury was the factor that kept Todd Gurley from making a huge impact in this year’s NFC championship game against the New Orleans Saints. (Thankfully, a controversial non-call saved the Rams.) Assuming all parties are telling the truth, Todd Gurley’s left knee is not inflamed. However, the Patriots are not so lucky, as the latest injury report shows that their key defender Malcolm Brown has a calf injury.

The fact that both teams are going into Super Bowl LIII at relatively full strength is a blessing for the expected 100-million fans who will be watching the game on Sunday. According to the 2017 injury data report released by the NFL, there were over 6 injuries per game.

NFL injury rate per game (2014-2017)
NFL injury rate per game (2014-2017)

While preventing injuries can be very important, they are not exactly avoidable in NFL. When missing key players can be the difference of a team making the playoffs or winning the Super Bowl, perhaps it is time to think smartly about injury management.

“Through my research, I found that all leagues are dealing with a huge increase in repetitive strain injuries, as athletes are starting their careers younger and as these sports get increasingly competitive. Despite this, there remains no way to actually understand which treatments are being effective on their recovery, or to treat patients remotely,” says Alexa Roeper, Co-founder & CEO of Penta Medical

Alexa Roeper’s vision: speed up injury recovery

When Alexa Roeper, Co-founder and CEO of Penta Medical, and her team launched from the Velocity Garage after partaking in Y-Combinator, she believed that she had finally developed a technology that can change the game in sports therapy. “Through my research, I found that all leagues are dealing with a huge increase in repetitive strain injuries, as athletes are starting their careers younger and as these sports get increasingly competitive. Despite this, there remains no way to actually understand which treatments are being effective on their recovery, or to treat patients remotely,” says Roeper.

CEO & Co-founder Alexa Roeper (left) and Penta Medical teammate
Co-founder & CEO Alexa Roeper (left) and Penta Medical teammate

The device, named PentaVO, is a wearable medical device that can analyze soft tissue injuries and on-demand laser therapy to speed up injury recovery. In essence, PentaVO is both a data collection and medical treatment device.

How does the PentaVO work as a data collection device?

When in use, PentaVO transmits infrared light into the body and collects data. Data collected by the PentaVO includes: pain levels, assessments of the injured tissue, and the regularity of use.

All the information that is collected from the athlete is sent directly to a smartphone device, allowing doctors and physiotherapists to continuously track their patient’s injury and recovery period. The PentaVO creates a streamlined process for recovery information to arrive at the fingertips of care provider without scheduling follow-up appointments.

The PentaVO
The PentaVO

 

Wait, it also does laser therapy? But what is that?

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) – or Cold Laser Therapy – is a procedure that applies low levels of red or near infrared light directly to an injured area. Once the damaged cells or tissues are exposed to the light, they respond by absorbing it. This physiological reaction between the soft tissue and the light helps reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling as well as accelerates the healing process in wounds. Injuries that LLLT can treat include:

  • Muscle and ligament sprains
  • Lower back pain
  • Knee pain (Hello! Todd Gurley!)
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis

In essence, PentaVO offers a painless and non-invasive therapy procedure in a smaller and portable fashion that other LLLT devices don’t provide.

Early adopters of the PentaVO

Some of Penta Medical’s major clients include Michigan State University, the Barwis Methods Clinics, Texas Medical Centre, and of course, the University of Waterloo! They are also activley working with several NFL teams under NDA. It is only a matter of time before real adoption takes place as the injury rates of an average NFL game simply demands streamlining injury assessments and shortening recovery time.

When Alexa Roeper’s vision becomes every professional sports team’s reality, it would be a huge plus for professional athletes everywhere.

I just want to know when the Super Bowl game starts

For all of the football fans out there, here’s when you can catch the big game:

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Kickoff @ 6:30 pm

With Halftime performances from Maroon 5!

Find out more about Penta Medical!

Facebook: Penta Medical 
Twitter: Penta Medical