Improving Safety in Sport : New App Reducing The Pain Of Reporting Sporting Injuries

Troy Westley was horrified to find his son’s Asthma Action Plan in a filing cabinet, not accessible to team officials in an emergency. So a year later, Troy developed a smartphone app that is changing how sporting organisations access medical and emergency contact information.

Aussie start-up CareMonkey was founded in October 2013 and in less than three years it has become the world’s fastest growing health and safety platform with over 1 million users and won one of the world’s most prestigious start-up awards in 2015.

“While sports clubs collect medical forms from parents about their children, we realised this information was not always accessible,” said Westley, now CEO of CareMonkey. “At my son’s football club, paper forms were carried in a clip board by the team manager named Sue, who was present on game day along with medical staff and trainers. However at weeknight training sessions, the coach was by himself with 23 footballers. There was no Sue with her clipboard and no parents. The coach was completely unprepared for any emergency, and didn’t even have emergency contact details for the kid’s parents he was responsible for.”
“CareMonkey exists to give authorised coaches and staff access to important medical and emergency information on their mobile device, and works even when they are offline,” Westley says. “Our fundamental aim is to help people know exactly what to do, who to call, and what to tell ambulance paramedics in an emergency.”

Medical and emergency information can go out of date. CareMonkey automates the collection of this information, chasing people when information is missing, and sending automatic reminders at regular intervals to ensure information is always accurate.

Nunawading Swimming Club and Squad Coordinator Kristy Veliades agrees, “It made sense to give the coaches immediate up to date medical and contact information for their athletes without having to print and carry private information.”

“Many players have medical histories longer than you can imagine, some with fairly complex conditions that have to be carefully managed,” said Logan Whitaker, GM of Slater and Gordon’s FIDA Football league with more than 600 players.

“The benefits of CareMonkey extend beyond simply ensuring medical information is up to date and accessible. CareMonkey significantly cuts down on hours spent by volunteers with paper based forms. Our Football League would not run without dedicated volunteers, so anything we can do to ease the burden on them helps. CareMonkey has done that in spades.”

Trainers can use CareMonkey to log detailed injury reports as they happen rather than relying on memory later, with the ability to add photos. Sporting organisations such as the NRL use this information to better understand the cause and impact of different injuries, including head injuries.
“CareMonkey has ensured a seamless transition to electronic reporting of injuries within our game,” Said Brad Levy, Training and Research Manager at the National Rugby League. “This means that we have the capacity to shape our sport’s policies in the future, as we will have statistical evidence to support any changes.”

“CareMonkey started as a platform for families to safely share emergency medical and contact information with trusted carers,” said Westley. “Those initial users started showing CareMonkey to their schools and sporting organisations, who started asking to use CareMonkey as their Emergency Health and Safety Platform.”

CareMonkey is now used in over 500 clubs throughout Australia, including major sporting organisations such as the AFL and National Rugby League. CareMonkey has since organically expanded its user base to the US, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and even in Kazakhstan.

CareMonkey has been endorsed by technology icons such as Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, who agrees having access to emergency data is vital; “It’s better than supervisors carrying paper documents with data on all the participants in a sports group. The more this is a standard the better”.

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