Performance diagnostics: success in sports – testing the limits of performance
Performance diagnostics: success in sports – testing the limits of performance
Interview with Markus Siepmann, Managing Director, CORTEX Biophysik GmbH
Stationary or mobile - competitive athletes rely on regular health assessments. They must deliver peak performance and be physically fit during competitions. But when do they reach their physical limits? Are there any devices that provide information, no matter where the test subject is located?
The mobile spiroergometry device MetaMax 3B is used in heat and sub-zero temperatures due to its light weight and precise measurement. In addition to sports such as running, dancing and rowing, it is used at Olympic training centers, performance diagnostic centres and hospitals.
In this MEDICA.de interview, Markus Siepmann explains the applications and the technology behind the MetaMax 3B spiroergometry device, describes the best candidates for the device and reveals where it has already been used successfully and effectively.
Which healthcare and sports facilities use the MetaMax 3B spiroergometry device?
Markus Siepmann: The MetaMax 3B is used by many Olympic training centers, performance diagnostic centers and hospitals around the world. Hospitals use the spiroergometry device in their respective cardiology, rehabilitation, and pediatric cardiology departments, as well as in research, and teaching. It is especially conducive to biathletes, rowers, dancers, and other sports and physical activities where performance diagnostics via treadmill or ergometer does not provide an entirely accurate assessment.
What is the technology behind MetaMax 3B?
Siepmann: MetaMax 3B is based on sidestream monitoring. The test subject wears a face mask and breathes through it. A defined amount of respiratory gas is constantly taken from the airway and transported through a small tube to the device. This method is called sidestream measurement because the respiratory gas is measured sideways or parallel to the air flow.
MetaMax 3B also analyzes respiratory flow using the so-called breath-by-breath technology. In this case, the extracted respiratory gas hits a turbine with a small impeller. A volume sensor records the number of revolutions prompted by the air mass and the rotational direction of the respiratory gas. The two directions of rotation distinguish between inhaled and exhaled air. This is a technique that allows for reliable, accurate and comfortable data collection even under sometimes extreme mobile device conditions such as extreme heat or cold for example.
MetaMax 3B can use MetaSoft to provide data on respiratory mechanics and gas exchange. In addition, the software can collect data from third party users, such as lactate and blood pressure, providing a better overview of the patient's performance, also on the road with sports.
MetaMax 3B comes with an application software. What types of data does it acquire and analyze? Siepmann: MetaSoft collects all data, including data pertaining to the respiratory system mechanism such as respiratory minute volume, frequency and depth, but also data related to the gas exchange such as oxygen uptake, CO2 output and end-tidal partial pressure. The latter refers to the concentration of CO2 and/or O2 during the last milliseconds of exhalation. These and a number of other parameters determine values such as ventilatory equivalent, physiological response time, metabolic values such as respiratory exchange ratio or fat and carbohydrate metabolism. MetaSoft can also collect data from peripheral systems, such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation, lactate, or cardiac output. In addition to the respiratory gas readings, this information is essential to obtain a better indication of the patient's performance level and condition and to acquire as much data as possible.
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MetaMax 3B has a GPS module for position and speed measurement and a telemetry transmission range of more than 1,000 meters. With a battery life of up to 6 hours, the patient can use the spiroergometry device for a long time, which regularly informs the patient about his meassured values.
What are the functions of the spiroergometry device?
Siepmann: In addition to respiratory-related data, the MetaMax 3B device also measures the heart rate. Via a headset, MetaMax 3B can also feed the test subject specific data during a marathon for example. The measured heart rate gives the test subject feedback about his or her training load and stress level. What’s more, the spiroergometry device features a GPS module to calculate position and speed. Bi-directional telemetry facilitates a transmission range of over 1,000 meters. MetaMax 3B also offers up to 400 hours of data storage, while the battery allows six hours of test time.
Which patient and user group is best suited for MetaMax 3B?
Siepmann: Nearly everyone can benefit from spiroergometry solutions - including but not limited to physically impaired patients who have to prepare for lung or heart surgery and patients suffering from exercise-induced asthma or COPD. The device can also be used for preventive health screenings and sports physicals including sports clearance exams. Top athletes or special law enforcement units (army and police) are the top-tier patient and user groups.
Since the MetaMax 3B is suited for both stationary and mobile use, it can be applied for all measurements that must be as close to real test and exercise conditions as possible. That’s why the MetaMax 3B system is also applied in occupational medicine to test for physical limits and stress caused by work processes or to measure relief provided by machinery and mechanical equipment. When it comes to sports, the device can measure performance of rowers, martial artists, tennis players, soccer players in the field and so much more.
Alexander Gerst took the spiroergometry device with him on a research trip into space and carried out six performance tests without any problems. The data was collected via a pad, sent to earth and evaluated there.
The German astronaut Alexander Gerst took MetaMax 3B on his research trip to the ISS. How did he use the spiroergometry device in space?
Siepmann: The MetaMax 3B spiroergometry device played a part in the MetaBolicSpace experiment. The standard configuration of MetaMax 3B easily mastered all situations in space. During his research trip, Mr. Gerst conducted six performance tests using MetaMax 3B. The only adjustment that was needed pertained to data transmission because the ISS does not have a Windows 10 operating system. A pad collected the data and transmitted it back to Earth.
Products and Exhibitors related to Sportsmedicine
Would you like to discover more about technical innovations in sportsmedicine? You will find exhibitors and products related to this topic in the catalogue of MEDICA 2018:
Why is MetaMax 3B such a great fit for sports medicine compared to other performance diagnostics systems?
Siepmann: MetaMax 3B weighs less than 600 grams, giving you the flexibility of either wearing it at your chest or on your back, which is comfortable yet robust. Test subjects can use the same device in either a mobile or stationary setting. This is especially important for comparative studies. The complete system - consisting of MetaMax 3B and MetaSoftStudio – features many data analysis options that far exceed those offered by traditional medically related measurement systems. This refers to medical diagnostics aimed at identifying or quantifying pulmonary or heart diseases. Meanwhile, a sports-focused analysis determines the optimal individualized training zones for the test subject.
The interview was conducted by Diana Heiduk and translated from German by Elena O'Meara. MEDICA-tredefair.com