Irish company Orreco wants to help athletes win big using AI and biomarker tools, including a menstrual cycle tracker for women athletes.
Irish specialist sports performance company Orreco has used AI and biomarker tools to help more than 100 elite athletes prepare for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Since its establishment in 2010, Orreco has focused on developing products for athletes to maximise training, reduce the threat of injury and improve their overall performance in their chosen sport.
The company, which has offices in Galway, London and Los Angeles, has worked with teams and franchises in the NBA and NFL, as well as individual athletes, F1 drivers and professional golfers including a Ryder Cup Captain.
And now they are working with Olympic athletes from Ireland, the US, Australia and Great Britain across more than ten sports.
Orreco’s team of researchers and scientists will work together with the Olympians and their teams using a combination of sports science, data science and systems development to deliver personalised strategies for each athlete.
Athletes Orreco is working with for the Tokyo Olympics include: 1500 metre runner Sarah Healy, Ireland; women’s basketball player Sue Bird, US; swimmer Allison Schmitt, US; skateboarder Mariah Duran, US; marathon runner Chris Thompson, Great Britain; slalom canoeists Kim Woods and Mallory Franklin, Great Britain; beach volleyball player Alix Klineman, US; cross-country mountain biker Haley Batten, US; distance runner Jess Piasecki, Great Britain, and track athlete Nijel Amos, US.
Dr Brian Moore, who is CEO of Orreco, said that the games have always had a special place in his company’s story.
He said: “Members of our team have been fortunate to support athletes since 2000 in Sydney. As our athletes work to be faster, stronger and aim higher, so do our scientists to make scientific breakthroughs and new discoveries. We are excited to cheer them and their support teams on in Tokyo.”
In addition to its work with some of the world’s top sports women and men, Orreco has invested a seven-figure sum in female athlete research, supporting several PhD sports science and data science students through to completion.
The company has developed a series of special PhD scholarships as part of a $1m investment programme, which it has created in collaboration with university partners in a number of locations including New Zealand, Letterkenny and London.
Researchers at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) in Ireland will receive funding for a project aiming to explain the impact of the menstrual cycle on the ability to successfully perform physical and mental tasks.
While the PhD students at the University of Waikato in New Zealand will be given funding to study cultural and sociological themes surrounding the implementation of technological solutions related to the menstrual cycle in elite sport.
And the company will also fund post-doctoral research at the University College London, which will focus on advancing the tools and processes involved in monitoring female athlete health and physiology. The research students will work with established Orreco researchers, Dr Georgie Bruinvels, director of sports science and female athlete lead with Orreco and Prof Charles Pedlar.
Commenting on the new PhD programmes, Bruinvels said: “We are really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the global charge to advance research in the female athlete space through these PhD programmes. Through our applied work, we have many questions that need to be answered through research, and it is great to be working with some inspiring partners in our mission to address these.”
Bruinvels has worked on Orreco’s female athlete program, which facilitated the creation of AI tools such as the FitrWoman app and FitrCoach platform, which allow women to manage their training programmes in sync with their menstrual cycles.
US beach volleyball player Alix Klineman, who has benefitted from the app and Orreco’s intelligence-led technology said: “Hormones definitely play a big role both in everyday life, and also in relation to my training and volleyball career. Working with Orreco’s female athlete programme has helped to optimise my hormonal health, and navigate the changes that happen during a menstrual cycle so that I can optimise my athletic performance.”