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Chicago Health Startup Looks to Change Landscape of Youth Sports

Source: Player's Health

Sometimes adversity can lead to opportunities.  Just ask Tyree Burks. Burks was a standout wide receiver at Winona State University.  Burks’ impressive play caught the attention of professional scouts, which led to a professional career with football leagues in Europe and Canada. Unfortunately his entire football career was plagued by injuries and came to an end by the time he was just 24 years old. Although injuries cut Tyrre’s football career short, they also gave him insight into a problem that needs to be solved, which led him to create Player’s Health.

Player’s Health, a Chicago-based startup, is the first universal health management and compliance application for youth athletes ages 8-18.  Player’s Health’s Athletic Health Record (AHR) allows sports organizations to digitally record injuries and notify parents the moment they occur.  This makes it easy and convenient for trainers to monitor and communicate an injured athlete’s progress.  The app is also organization agnostic. Therefore, regardless of the organization, an athlete will have one Player's Health AHR that’s accessible by all coaches and trainers from one season to the next, be it school or club team.

Today a majority of youth athletes are playing different sports for multiple coaches.  According to Burks, one problem with this trend is that athletes’ medical information is not being shared, which leads to them playing with injuries.  “We are working to put an end to this. If an athlete gets a concussion playing travel baseball, their football coach should be aware and cautious of this,” explains Burks.

In addition to keeping athletes safe, compliance and liability issues are two other reasons why athletic organizations have showed interest in partnering with Player’s Health. “Right now, the compliance management process within schools is very inefficient and done through pen and paper. We are digitizing this entire process. Now all coaches and trainers have to do is press a few buttons on their phone or tablet and an injury report will be created.” stated Burks.

Player’s Health is also hoping to help athletic organizations decrease liability through the app’s digital injury reports, concussion incident form and return to play policy.  By having easy access to these forms, Player’s Health is making it easier for athletic organizations to properly report and monitor injuries.  By properly filling out the digital documents and reporting and monitoring the injuries, athletic organizations may avoid costly injury related lawsuits. 

As a former professional athlete, Burks knows that there is still a “tough guy” mentality in sports. “Anyone who has ever played sports competitively has probably been told to ‘shake it off’ or ‘rub some dirt on it’ after they hurt themselves. This has to change.”  With research and evidence surfacing about the severity of injuries, reoccurring injuries and the danger of playing hurt, it is time to start taking injuries and health seriously.  Player’s Health is doing just that.


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