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A revolutionary gait analysis system for smart injury and performance management.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SIPAR (A revolutionary gait analysis system for smart injury and performance management.)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-03-31

There is a major epidemic in sport today, the growing prevalence of sports injuries. According to the 2017 National Running Survey*, 75% of runners incurred a running-related injury in 2017. Professional athletes are arguably the most expensive human real estate in the world & injuries are the 4th largest cost to professional sports institutes. Over the past 5 years, the number of injuries in the English Premier League alone increased by 19% & it has been widely reported that in the top 4 European Soccer leagues alone, €1.7Bn was spent on salaries for injured athletes in 2015. It has been widely reported in scientific journals & research papers that over 42% of injuries in professional football are potentially avoidable through interventions such as gait analysis.

DANU SPORT is breaking down the boundaries of unnatural, lab-based gait analysis by developing disruptive wearable technology that revolutionises injury and performance management in sports. Danu Sport has developed an innovative wearable gait analysis system that removes the restrictions of traditional lab-based gait analysis. Thus, empowering coaches and athletes with a smart, unique, and accurate tool to reduce injury occurrence, reduce rehabilitation times & maximise athletic ability. The company has developed the most advanced sports wearable in the world using irreplicable patent-protected sensor technology. This wearable is a pair of sensor integrated smart socks that work with mobile analytics software to measure human movement to the highest degrees of accuracy. These work with state-of-the-art machine learning that continuously improves to build a database of predictive analysis for injury prevention and rehabilitation.

The key benefits offered by this technology are:

>Predictive analysis to prevent injuries and reinjuries.
>Live and remote monitoring solution.
>Enhanced athlete performance:
>Accurate and reliable management of Injuries and Performance
>Intuitive, user-friendly system that tailors and simplifies data to match the needs & expertise of each individual user.
>Covid-19 remote monitoring solution for analysing athletes during social restrictions.

The First objective of this project was to maximise the company’s business acumen with a robust and comprehensive business plan. This plan would include evidence-based strategies for market penetration, manufacture, intellectual property protection and contingency planning.

The second objective was to understand customer and competitor behaviors that could be implemented into a sound go-to-market strategy for commercialization.

The third objective was to gain as much customer insight as possible and would with world-class technical partners to define the final product, develop a strategy for mass manufacture and develop the supply chain partnerships necessary to implement that strategy.

Danu Sport has developed this technology to with the objective to help athletes of all levels & gender maximise their potential and reduce the physical & emotional cost of these injuries in sport.
The company has successfully completed a feasibility study. The result of this feasibility study is a comprehensive and achievable business plan. Ahead of this study, the company had clear and accurate technical knowledge, but there was a lack of in-depth market and commercialisation knowledge. The primary business goals of the study were to develop a business plan with a focus on market, go-to-market strategy, customer insight, competition, risk management & financials. The technical goals of the project were to develop strategies for mass manufacturability, scalability, Intellectual Property, and product completion. In pursuing these goals the company had to develop strategic relationships with partners that would work to implement these strategies successfully. The company also hired a high-profile recruit, a former Irish International Rugby player whose network in professional sports(ex-international athlete), combined with his experience in sales in Sports Analytics makes him the perfect employee to develop and implement the sales strategy and help grow this company successfully.

The primary business goals completed in this project were:
>Customer & Business Model Validation
>Quantify the Size & Reachable Market
>Establish a Sound Go-to-Market Strategy
>Accomplish accurate 5 Year Financials
>Complete a Risk assessment & Contingency Plan

The primary technical goals completed in this project were:
>Assess Mass Manufacture Strategy & Implementation.
>Define & test a minimum viable product
>Establish effective & comprehensive IP strategy

Interviews with potential customers, users, competitors and industry experts were key to achieving the company’s research goals into the market. These interviews gave a broad understanding of the purchase trends of the target market, purchase influencers, price points and other key market information that led to the development of a market research report and a following Go-To-Market strategy that is summarised in this report. The interviews mentioned above, along with user studies, comparative studies and validation studies were key to defining the minimum viable product. This information was used with the technical partners to develop a project roadmap towards a commercialisation ready product that is ready for manufacture and suits the exact needs of the customers.

Through this feasibility study, this project has evolved from a good technical project, into an excellent business opportunity. It is clear from the results of this feasibility study that there is a great opportunity to continue this project and establish an innovative company, with disruptive market technology and revolutionise the sports analytics industry.
Based on the project’s progress we believe that our methods and technology will lead to a significant improvement in the management of athlete performance and injuries in sport. In particular, the machine learning built into the technology has highlighted an ability to prevent injuries from occurring through predictive analysis algorithms. The company is patenting novel algorithms, analytics, technology and manufacturing methods created during this project.

The clear socio-economic impact from this project is of course employment opportunities and the protection of employment. Athletes rely on their fitness and bodies for employment, so if our technology can reduce the likelihood and prevent just 1% of injuries from occurring, that can equate to a 1% saving of athlete employment. A reduction of 1% of injuries has a multi-million euro impact on professional sports organisations also, reducing their wasted expenditure and saving any losses incurred by losing their human assets to injury.

The company has an ambitious plan to set up a charitable wing utilising 2% of gross profits annually. Talent in sports is not racially, economically, or politically motivated, but unfortunately, those factors do negatively influence the potential for talented athletes to succeed, or to nurture their talent while also maintaining an education. Danu Sport will setup four charity funds focused on helping to balance this issue. This is a concept that all profitable companies should pursue.
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