The Olympic Games is a festival of physicality, with the superhuman feats of thousands of athletes, a source of awe for billions of mortals spectating from couches around the world. Behind those peak performances are hundreds of doctors, physios, massage therapists, dietitians, conditioning coaches and others. And behind them is the Olympic Games Polyclinic, the purpose-built, latest-and-greatest medical centre kitted out with advanced digital-imaging technologies, including ultrasound, MRI and X-ray machines, and GE Healthcare Digital solutions for diagnostic imaging. As well as having access to all that technology, in Rio—for the first time ever—all athletes’ medical movements will be tracked by Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). The advent of EMRs and fully integrated digital health solutions is a Games-changer, ensuring fast, connected diagnosis and treatment of all Olympians, as well as providing a digital record to enhance their post-Games medical care.
GE is a worldwide partner of the Olympic
Games and provider of all the Polyclinic’s digital-imaging medical equipment, which the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee will donate to hospitals in Brazil after the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games. GE has also designed and initiated the new electronic medical records network for the Olympic Games, through its Centricity Practice Solution system.
Dr Richard Budgett is an Olympic gold-medallist and sport-medicine specialist who has, since 1992, held various senior medical roles at both the summer and winter Olympic Games. He won gold at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic
Games, as a member of Great Britain’s coxed-four rowing team. By the time the London 2012 Olympic Games were in play, he was Chief Medical Officer. Today, Budgett is the IOC’s Medical and Scientific Director and the perfect person
to show GE Reports the where, what and how of the Polyclinic, as well explaining why the EMRs will be a cornerstone of health services at this and future Olympic Games.
Clear scans, full service, can’t lose
I always say that the Polyclinic is the jewel in the crown of medical provision at the Olympic Games. It’s quite a large building in the middle of the Olympic Village and it’s where athletes or any members of the Olympic family go if they’re injured or sick. It can deal with anything that doesn’t need to go to hospital for an operation. The investigation facility—providing the ability to make fast, accurate diagnosis—is really important. The Polyclinic has scanning, MRI and CT scanning, X-ray, ultrasound, all of which are aimed at making a diagnosis quickly so you can competently treat athletes as fast as possible and get them back on the field to play, which is of course the priority at the Olympic Games.
It’s become more and more sophisticated over the years, and at London 2012, where I was the Chief Medical Officer, it was used massively. There were thousands and thousands of patient
consultations in the Polyclinic. The most important thing is the sport-medicine provision, and nowadays, that’s a team. So it’s the sport-medicine doctor with the physiotherapists, massage therapists; and a number of specialists come in—orthopaedic surgeons and physicians; and there are specialist services such as ophthalmology and dental; and the pharmacy, which is also very important.
The vibe inside
There’s a real buzz of intellectual activity around the most fantastic equipment and kit and you’ve got some of the best doctors and other medical professionals in the country volunteering to be part of this, and international medical personnel, too. So there’s a great opportunity for continuous professional development, for learning, and the medical staff at the Polyclinic normally get a great deal out of that experience and benefit from it and talk about it for years afterwards.
Increasingly sport-medicine doctors are using ultrasound scans in the same way as other doctors would use a stethoscope; it’s become a standard piece of equipment in the majority of doctors’ musculoskeletal consultations. Doctors who treat athletes have a degree of expertise in using ultrasound literally at the bedside. Then if it’s something complicated or they’re not completely sure, they will turn to the specialist radiologists in the Polyclinic who may use the larger, more sophisticated ultrasounds that are available in the Polyclinic or turn to MRI or other modalities, such as CT or X-ray. Ultrasound, X-ray and MRI are all extensively used.
When you look at the statistics of sports injuries the most commonly injured body part, across all sports, is the knee. So naturally that’s reflected in the imaging; there’ll be a lot of knee imaging. There’s quite a lot of backs as well, but it depends on the sport. I’m an old rower, so I know that rowers can suffer from problems with their backs. It depends what sport you’re in and injuries are often very sport-specific.
At the London 2012 Olympic Games, 1,711 scans (X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound) were performed in the
Polyclinic, and 655 scans were performed during the Paralympic Games. The final statistics show that the part of the body most examined in the Polyclinic was the knee (16.9% of all scans), followed by the
spine (13.2%) and the shoulders and clavicles (7.7%).
Up all night
The Polyclinic runs 24/7 from the time the village opens on the 24th
July until the Village closes, after the closing ceremony. During the small hours, it’s only an emergency service. The general service is supposed to close at 11, but it’s not unusual for an athlete to come in late from a venue and to get scanning or another sort of emergency treatment done, even if it’s 1 o’clock in the morning.
A brief history of Olympic Games medical records
If they were kept at all, a lot of records were in the doctors’ heads
[when Budgett was competing]. They would be kept on a piece of card or perhaps a few pieces of paper. The team doctor who looked after me was probably more organised than most, in that he had little cards in a box and we each had a little card that had one or two lines about major issues or if he’d seen us for anything in particular.
So we had some sort of record, but it was very basic and the different physiotherapists or different doctors would generally work in a silo.
There was no handover. You would just come and tell them what the other doctor or physio had done, and then they’d go from there. There was no joined-up progression of care. And that made it quite difficult, for both the athletes and the coaches.
Going for gold with connected care
From these Games, we’ve got an Electronic Medical Record [EMR], which the doctors, physiotherapists and others who are looking after the athletes can use as part of longitudinal care. It’s not individual clinicians looking after an athlete; it’s a multidisciplinary team. All sorts of people could be involved in that multidisciplinary team, from a pharmacist, through to a dentist, sports-medicine generalist, orthopaedic specialist, radiologist, physiotherapist, masseur. An athlete may move through all those, and the Electronic Medical Record will enable the practitioner to see at a glance what has happened to that athlete: what investigation that they’ve had, what the results of those investigations are, what treatment they’ve had and what their response to that treatment has been. It’s fast, seamless medical care.
It’s also medicolegally safe for the practitioners, because they’re not operating in a vacuum and that’s more and more important to them these days. Ultimately it gives us all the statistics we need, to plan for future care.
The most important thing about an Electronic Medical Record is it provides you with that longitudinal surveillance. We get surveillance through the Games, which is very important so that we know what injuries and illnesses are most common in what athletes. But that’s even more important over a four-year period. We are encouraging institutes, National Olympic Committees and squads to take up an Electronic Medical Record—the Polyclinic is using a fantastic one, Centricity Practice Solution—and use that throughout the four-year period to monitor what’s happening to the athletes, how effective the treatment is by different practitioners, and to prevent injury and illness occurring in the first place, which is the priority for the IOC’s Medical and Scientific Commission. That is something we’re working on in partnership with GE, to create something that could be available to all the institutions and all the squads around the world.
During the Games, it’s about providing a medical and diagnostic service which is fast and also really accurate, and that has a level of excellence that everyone from all around the world can be confident in. With that confidence, both the support staff and the athletes can give it their best. If they’ve got that niggling thought, ‘Oh, gosh, perhaps I should go and get another opinion if it needs to be done differently. Am I doing the right thing?’, that’s going to really interfere with the athlete’s recovery and performance. They have to have complete confidence that ‘This is the very best MRI scan, and this is the very best ultrasound, and the best person wielding it, that I can get.’ So they can go out there and do their very best.
GE infrastructure lets 5 billion people participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Illumination, cameras, action! The Olympic Games as we experience them in the 21st Century wouldn’t take place without boosting the infrastructure of host cities. In Rio, 250 megawatts of extra energy is required to run the Games. Twenty percent of that energy, or enough to power a city of 200,000 people, will feed into the International Broadcast Center, the hub for worldwide viewing. In preparation for Rio 2016, the city’s power sources, transmission and distribution technology have been transformed. At the same time many traditionally power-hungry projects, such as lighting the Olympic Village, the city and its arenas, have been designed to save the city money and cost-effectively play on long after the last triumphant anthem.
GE’s Worldwide Partnership with the Olympic Games is now in its 10th year, and represents an opportunity to bring several of the company’s portfolio of businesses—known collectively as the GE Store—to support the pinnacle of sporting endeavour. “Every Olympic Games host city is different in terms of its overall readiness to host the Games,” says Christopher Katsuleres, GE’s director of Olympic and sport marketing. “In Rio, there was a need for additional power generation for the city as a whole: there were macro city infrastructure requirements and more specific venue requirements.”
Turbines turn out to power the Games
GE began laying the groundwork for providing volumes of extra power to Rio in 2011, planning for flexibility and operational stability in the generating grid. To increase supply, it partnered in building thermal power plants around the city, such as the Baixada Fluminense plant which opened in 2014. Deploying GE gas-driven turbines in an efficient combined-cycle system, Baixada Fluminense alone can generate enough power to supply a city of 1.7 million people.
GE Energy Connections worked in tandem with GE Power to design the electrical distribution necessary to deliver increased power to the people: Rio city’s 6.45 million population; the influx of 500,000 visitors to the Games; and the 10,000 broadcast professionals who will work night and day at the International Broadcast Center (IBC) to share the passion of the Games with an audience of 5 billion people worldwide.
Broadcasting excitement to the farthest non-ticketed seat
“The IBC is one of the most critical infrastructure building and facility of the Games, even though it won’t host any athletic competitions,” says Katsuleres.
“You have more than 20 studios inside the IBC. Some are among the biggest you can find in any TV station in the world,” elaborates Sotiris Salamouris, chief technology officer of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), which runs the massive facility. “We’re talking about 60,000 square meters of space which is equivalent of more than eight fields of the football game, so there is a lot of cable required to bring all of the Olympic signals between the OBS spaces to all the broadcasters that are here … more than 600 kilometres of cabling just for broadcasting, not to include the power cabling.”
Dependable power supply is vital to the IBC. Of the 3,000 uninterruptible power-supply (UPS) units installed by GE around Rio, several help boost the certainty of power to the 11 power rooms of the IBC. In the event of a power failure to any part of the Olympic Games’ critical grid—including the various stadiums, team accommodations, the Polyclinic and the hospital—the uninterruptible power supplies instantaneously supplies backup power to their connected equipment until generators can turn/kick on. “That is the importance of this technology,” says Alfredo Mello, commercial leader, GE Olympics. “The people watching the television don’t realise that something has happened, because our system immediately is connected to the load.”
Illumination of Olympic Games standards
The requirements of the IBC are necessarily exacting. Three years ago Lanna Caram, lead lighting designer for Current powered by GE, began ensuring that every centimetre of space in Rio 2016 venues would be equally, brilliantly lit to ensure perfect lighting for both athletic performance and for beaming the feats of athletes to their countries of origin and beyond.
“To have competitions seen for broadcast transmission, we need to provide at least three or four times more light than an average project on an ordinary arena that doesn’t have special broadcast transmission,” she says. Caram explains
that in Arena Carioca 3, for example, where fencing and taekwondo are among the scheduled events, “We worked with 200 fixtures, with three different types of lights and each one of them has to be aimed directly at a very specific point on the competition area.” Viewers may notice one effect: that each athlete competes without their shadow—alone in their focus, undistracted by their usual doppelgänger.
GE has completed 80 lighting projects across Rio de Janeiro, including illumination of the three Carioca arenas, the velodrome, the massive tennis centre and Maracanā stadium where the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games will be staged. Every venue has its own lighting design. “Depending on the sports and depending on the height available for us to fix the luminaires, we have to adjust the product and lamp type to get the best outcome of the lighting solution as a whole,” says Caram.
The gift of efficient, intelligent light
In illuminating the Games, training centres and Olympic Village accommodation, GE has installed around 200,000 energy-efficient lights, half of which are LED technology that ensures more than 50% energy savings on traditional lighting.
As part of its worldwide partnership of the Olympic Games, GE also seeks to leave lasting gifts to the people of the host city. Among its legacies in Rio is the relamping of the city’s bayside Flamengo Park, and of the historic central Lapa district.
“Flamengo Park is probably the most beautiful park in all of Rio de Janeiro, but the lighting solution there was upwards of 30 years old and was difficult to maintain,” says Katsuleres. Thirty-metre lampposts require the raising of a crane to change a light bulb. LED lamps have at least three times longer lifespan than previous lamps, reducing change-a-lightbulb intervals. Telemonitoring of the new sensor-enabled, digitally connected GE fittings allows the city to know when lamps are failing and to cost-effectively plan maintenance runs.
In addition to refitting Flamengo Park’s high fixtures—light from which has long been eclipsed at footpath level by luxuriant growth of foliage—LED lighting has also been installed beneath the canopy, lighting the way for safer strolling after dark. The fixtures themselves provide
a gateway to future development of the lighting infrastructure that will enable lighting to, for example, provide pollution monitoring, control traffic flow and offer other smart-city solutions.
The co-ordinated efforts of GE businesses will result in post-Olympic Games Rio enjoying a more abundant and stable power supply and a legacy of sustainable light. And when the world remembers the first Olympic Games hosted in South America, it will be able to picture unforgettable athletic performance in super-real, sweat-beading, incredibly moving images.
Powering peak performance for Rio 2016
Behind GE’s worldwide partnership with the Olympic Games
Think of the preparation for the Olympic Games as running on twin tracks: one for the athletes and the other for the host city. Both will be subjected to extraordinary demands
as they go on show to the world. Both have one chance to get it right for these Games.
Just as the athletes train their hearts out for their Olympic
Games dream, world-class infrastructure must be built and conditioned to make a city fit to host it. Hundreds of thousands of athletes and supporters are coming, and all of those new sporting venues and accommodations need services and utilities robust enough to cope with the influx: energy generation and distribution, lighting for venues and
public places, water treatment and transportation. Like a giant squad of exacting coaches, broadcast crews are flying in, too, demanding souped-up, super-reliable electricity to power the International Broadcast Center, enabling them to share the competition with more than 5 billion fans around the world.
Don’t try whining to them about an outage.
GE is a worldwide partner of the Olympic Games and has contributed to more than 170 infrastructure projects for Rio de Janeiro, South America’s first host city. Getting a city in shape to welcome the Games is “perfectly in line with GE’s portfolio of businesses”, says Chris Katsuleres, GE’s director of Olympic and sport marketing. He reels off a few of GE’s main events: “Additional energy capacity, lighting for stadiums, energy-management systems for venues, healthcare for athletes…”
Katsuleres has been working on GE’s Olympic sponsorship since the company signed on as a worldwide partner in 2005, for Torino 2006 and beyond. “The Olympic Games are about excellence and performance, and that lines up with the GE brand values,” he says.
The breadth of GE’s critical-infrastructure contributions to Rio 2016, featuring the company’s latest digital-industrial technology, makes a perfect dais for the GE Store, where technologies and ideas are shared between GE’s businesses to provide innovative solutions for each other. One example of the
GE Store’s translated industrial applications is GE Aviation’s jet-engine technology being deployed in aeroderivative gas turbines. And GE Healthcare’s advanced medical-imaging technology can now be found in several industrial applications, such as GE Oil & Gas using CT scans to analyse rock samples, and GE Aviation using it to non-invasively inspect its LEAP engine blades. The Power & Water business uses adapted digital X-Ray for a range of field-inspection applications, and ultrasound technology originally developed for medical use can now be found in ultrasonic flaw-detection equipment, used in the field and on the factory floor. That’s just a sample of smart technology transfers between businesses, largely being driven by GE’s nine Global Research Centres, where 3,600 scientists and engineers work across all of the businesses, striving for the next technological win.
At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, “we’ve got eight different businesses contributing technologies and solutions”, says Katsuleres. “And we’re also leveraging research out of our Global Research Center in Rio for the digital-performance management of a Brazilian sports team … it’s a great embodiment of what the GE Store is all about.”
More than 100 technical and service staff working on GE’s Rio projects during the Games will be from GE Brazil, supplemented by international specialists arriving for the pointy end of
the project. Manymore have been involved in the planning, manufacture, delivery, installation and commissioning to get everything in place and operating in time for the Opening
Ceremony of the Olympic Games on August 5. “This project extends out way beyond GE Brazil,” says Katsuleres. “We’ve got products from all over the world: China, Poland, the United States, India, Hungary, Brazil. You can see that connection back
to the breadth of GE and the GE Store coming to life through what we’re doing in Rio.”
The Games partnership, says Katsuleres, resonates with GE’s employees in 180 countries around the world: “It’s not just about being a sponsor. Our employees know that GE makes significant contributions to the enablement of the Games … delivering the solutions that help the host cities put on the
Games.” Katsuleres talks GE Reports through some of the key areas where GE is powering the Games, as well as a high-tech training program for a local sports federation and the company’s legacy gift for Rio de Janeiro.
“If we take one venue, the International Broadcast Center [IBC] as an example, it is perhaps one of the most critical infrastructure building and facility during the Games, even though it won’t host any athletic competitions. There are
5,000 production staff working in that building to send the broadcast feed out to the world. GE’s energy-management and distribution equipment will be powering the IBC. We also play a critical role in the energy-redundancy strategy that the
IOC has in place … backup power in case of any failures of the prime power coming off of the grid.
“We’ve got more than 3,000 UPS [Uninterruptible Power Supply] single- and three-phase systems that will be deployed across every venue in Rio, including the IBC. We’ve got 65 power transformers and and a host of electrical-distribution equipment, from low-voltage panels to switchgear. And there was a need for additional power-generation capacity for the city as a whole, so we’ve got two big power projects that have been deployed there. So we touch the whole area of power and energy at multiple levels in Rio.”
“In lighting for the stadiums and arenas, the real challenge is the standards that are required for Olympic Games broadcast.
As a partner, we’ve worked very closely with the Olympic Broadcasting Services, which produces the global feed for distribution to the broadcast partners. They have very, very exact standards and we’ve had to deliver lighting solutions for indoor arenas and outdoor venues to those requirements.
“We’ve got several projects around municipal lighting, focused on a transition from traditional lighting to more energy-efficient LED solutions. Our two big projects are in Flamengo Park and in Lapa, the central business district.”
Advanced Medical Imaging
“The Polyclinic is our closest technology connection to athletes. It’s the medical-services venue for all 10,000 athletes who will come to Rio. We’re supplying a full complement of diagnostic imaging modalities, ranging from MRI to ultrasound and digital X-Ray . Those technologies, coupled with GE Healthcare Digital solutions for diagnostic imaging, are there to provide the best of possible care to the world’s best athletes. These athletes
have trained their whole lives for that opportunity to represent their country at the Olympic Games. Injury is a function of sport and, when that happens, we’re providing those diagnostic imaging tools for the medical professionals to be able to best assess what’s going on and to be able to, in a perfect world, get the athlete back to competition, so that they can compete and hopefully fulfill their lifelong dream.”
Electronic Medical Records
“As well as our equipment provision, for the first time in Rio, we will have GE’s electronic medical records system, Centricity Practice Solution. Previously, athletes coming into the Polyclinic would be filling out forms on paper and trying to answer as best as they could questions on their medical
background. We were at the pinnacle of global sport and using paper-based medical records … it didn’t seem like that fit! Now, when an athlete is admitted to the Polyclinic, they scan their accreditation, pull up all the relevant information and create a medical record that will be accessible from any workstation in the Polyclinic. It will connect to all of the diagnostic-imaging modalities, and all the information and data specific to that athlete will sit in one medical record, which is accessible to all of the medical professionals in the Polyclinic. It’s such a night-and-day difference to how it has been operating.”
Digital Performance Management
“In each of the host countries, GE also sponsors one of the national sporting federations. It’s a way for us to connect and support local athletes. For Rio, we’ve partnered with the
Brazilian Canoe/Kayak Federation. They were very interested to see what we could do from a technology standpoint, so we worked with the team’s performance director and coaching staff, partnering them up with data scientists from GE’s Global Research Center in Rio. We developed a truly world-class data-recording and data-analytics system for them. The coaches have real-time access to all of the data from the athletes’ training. They’re able to monitor their pace and athlete biometric data and look at that compared to all of their past training runs, relative to their competitors, to work out how they can get that extra half-second out of their performance. In that sport, one-quarter of a boat length can represent first-to-fourth. That’s a good example of GE’s digital-industrial technology and data-analytics capabilities coming to life through a project that’s tied to athletes’ performance.”
Legacy gifts for Rio de Janeiro
“For each host city over the past several games, we’ve looked for what we can give back to the community. For Rio, we started having conversations several years ago with Mayor Eduardo Paes about the city’s specific needs. He directed us to think about what we could do for city-run hospitals, because they look after primarily the under-served community and were lacking in modern technology. We spoke with the director of the largest city-run hospital, Souza Aguiar in downtown Rio, and discovered that much of their diagnostic-imaging equipment was 20-plus years old, or analogue technology. We worked with the hospital to define specific needs and donated a full range of diagnostic-imaging equipment. wIt means that more patients can be treated faster and will increase their efficiency in patient surgeries, for example, by upwards of 30%. That’s going to leave a long-term benefits for years to come in that community.
“The second legacy-gift project was the lighting at Flamengo
Park and the Lapa area. We’ve relamped those two public areas with GE’s LED floodlighting. It’s much more energy-efficient, and therefore cheaper for the city to run, and will provide a safer environment for families to be able to benefit from the park at nighttime, with the added benefit of the telemanagement systems and ongoing savings on energy for the city. Those are long-term benefits for the city, too.”