What do you think will be more important in professional sports in the future: technical equipment or the athlete’s skill?
Kienle: Ultimately, it certainly comes down to the athlete. However, he or she will only be able to make the most of his talent by using technology. It will not just be about collecting data, but also about properly analyzing and interpreting it. The sports sector can reap great benefits from big data and machine learning software. The software will help create the ideal custom training plan and give real-time feedback during training sessions. There will also be ways to predict the risk of injury or similar aspects.
Which innovations would you like to see coming out of sports medicine and from technology companies?
Kienle: The challenge in the future will be to blend the data we can already collect to get a bigger, more accurate picture. On the one hand, this requires better instruments and tools to collect this data during activity in the field. On the other hand, you will also need a central location where you can add the data for a more comprehensive picture. This data is highly sensitive, which means the location must ensure secure storage.
Are there any areas in your sport where you do not use assistive technology?
Kienle: Yes. At a certain point during the race, I have to make sure I beat my competition and do not just rely on my data. Data always indicates a limit – until I redefine this limit. Having said that, I also have to enjoy what I do. That aspect quickly falls by the wayside if I become a slave to technology. Yet it is often the crucial factor in the race.
What topic are you going to focus on at the 7th MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE in November?
Kienle: I will talk about how we use technology in training and how its application has changed over the many years I have loved this sport.