Johns Hopkins Athletics partners with Sparta Science for data-based sport performance tracking

Using AI and smart tech, the partnership will provide baseline metrics and movement recommendations to improve athletic performance and reduce injuries

Athletes use the Sparta Science interface

Credit: Courtesy of Sparta Science

Through a new partnership with industry leader Sparta Science, Johns Hopkins University's 24 varsity athletic programs and more than 600 student-athletes will receive cutting-edge support using data-driven insights that will improve athletic performance and reduce the impact of musculoskeletal injuries.

"As we further develop the services and support we provide our student-athletes in the areas of sport performance, wellness, and strength and conditioning, we were looking for a way to streamline data on each individual that would help us to allow them to optimize their own performance," said Jennifer S. Baker, director of athletics and recreation for Johns Hopkins. "Sparta Science's unique platform has a demonstrated record of providing exactly those services to college and professional athletic programs, as well as to the military. Our Sport Performance team, led by Erin Long, will utilize Sparta's technology, along with our traditional forms of treatment and programming within Sports Medicine and Strength and Conditioning, to ensure every Johns Hopkins student-athlete is prepared to compete at their optimum level."

Leveraging the power of machine learning, Sparta's Movement Health Platform captures an individual's movement data in minutes, assesses performance and risk of injury, then provides intelligent, personalized movement guidance to improve performance and accelerate rehabilitation. Elite and conventional armed forces, sports organizations, and healthcare organizations use Sparta Science's Force Plate Machine Learning as a solution to increase availability and reduce injuries at speed and scale.

"We're thrilled to partner with Johns Hopkins, an institution with an amazing history of athletics and innovation in medicine and research, to ensure every student-athlete and staff member have data to help them perform at their best," says Sparta Science CEO Phil Wagner. "At Sparta Science, our core mission is to 'help the world move better.' We want to be a continued resource and support for Long and her team, helping to protect student-athletes from injuries while performing and feeling their very best."

How it works

The technology relies on simple movement scans on a high-fidelity force plate that captures real-time ground reaction forces when users move. Through a combination of machine learning models and biomechanical analyses, the data is transformed into a set of Movement Health metrics and injury risk and performance scores.

Each Johns Hopkins student-athlete will be scanned at the start of the year to provide a baseline reading; this baseline will provide a starting point for data collection for Long and her team of fully-trained staff members.

Individualized activity and exercise recommendations are generated based on the metrics and scores derived from these scans. Individuals are guided through intelligent movement plans that adjust to actual progress. The Johns Hopkins Sport Performance staff will be able to assign and track personalized workout plans built using machine learning analysis across historically captured data points and validated to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

With the baseline and continuing data collection, Long and her Sport Performance team will identify areas for early corrective intervention. By aggregating and displaying team performance and readiness trends, the staff will be able to quickly hone in on individuals who need attention. Drillable individual, team, and organizational reporting enables cross organization communication using an objective single-source tracking and reporting system.

The University of Oregon; University of California, Los Angeles; Louisiana State University, University of Louisville, and Auburn University are a few of Sparta's other collegiate partners, while the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force have also utilized the technology to enhance their recruiting and physical training.