Orreco’s Sports App Coach Watson is First Global Partnership for IBM

A cutting-edge new sports app geared toward world-class and Olympic athletes will soon be available. The app is a collaborative effort between two companies, Orreco and IBM. Orreco is an Irish company specializing in bioanalytics for elite athletes. The app will be called Coach Watson as a nod to IBM’s cognitive computing system of the same name. The collaboration between IBM and Orreco marks the first global partnership for IBM.

The purpose of the sports app is to improve performance for world-class athletes through bioanalysis. Orreco specializes in analyzing biomarkers in the bloodstream to determine whether an athlete is performing at optimal levels, or underperforming due to fatigue or stress. Based on the results of the biomarker analysis, coaches and athletes can make more informed decisions regarding training. When the analysis reveals indications of fatigue, for instance, adjustments can be made to the current training regimen to prevent illness and injury.

Image credit: Orreco
Image credit: Orreco

Orreco’s existing athlete bioanalysis services require coaches and athletes to wait for lab results done by the company itself. The Coach Watson app presents a convenient way of putting the science of bioanalytics, coupled with the highly intelligent data interpretation and evaluation capabilities of IBM’s Watson computing program, directly in the hands of coaches and elite athletes worldwide. One of the first teams to use the sports app for training its athletes will be the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite, as confirmed by head coach Mark Rowland.

Several notable athletes have already benefited from Orreco’s existing bioanalysis services, including Formula One driver Max Chilton, professional golfer and three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, and Olympic athlete and 2011 European Women’s Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton. The new Coach Watson sports app will extend Orreco’s reach, enabling an even greater number of elite athletes and their coaches to benefit.

The Coach Watson sports app assists coaches and athletes in making better-informed training decisions by providing the latest information on a variety of topics in sports medicine and science. Athletes and coaches can access current research findings on such concerns as athlete recovery, nutrition, and hydration. Other areas the app might address include the effects of travel, jet lag, and altitude changes on athlete training and performance. As Orreco puts it, the app is “a unique solution that delivers enhanced decision making to world-class athletes.”

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