MLB approves wrist-worn wearable device WHOOP for in-game use for 2017 season

Tuesday March 7th, 2017

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Last week, MLB notified teams that players can wear WHOOP during games starting with the 2017 season, making it the first wearable device of its kind approved for in-game use for MLB players. WHOOP and the MLB recently conducted the largest ever performance study in U.S. professional sports, so the technology announcement is a continuation of that pre-existing relationship.

Still, the approval of the wrist-worn sensor WHOOP isn’t the first time wearables have been approved for in-game use. For the 2016 season, the Motus Baseball Sleeve—which measures stress on elbows—along with the Zephyr Bioharness for heart and breathing rates were approved.

Will Ahmed, Founder and CEO of WHOOP, suggested on the company blog that MLB pitchers could use the WHOOP Day Strain to better assess strain levels compared to just monitoring pitch counts.

“I have to compliment MLB on the steps that they took to understand the WHOOP technology,” Ahmed wrote. “From a process standpoint: They listened to their teams that were interested in buying the product, they listened to us as we explained our technology, they commissioned a study to better understand the technology, they gathered feedback from their athletes and teams upon using WHOOP, they examined the findings of the study carefully, and they followed a thorough review process for approving WHOOP in games which included safety testing. I think there’s a lot to learn from this process in general.”

After gaining widespread attention during the 2016 Summer Olympics for its work with 30 Olympians, last September WHOOP also started making publicly available its performance optimization system as it continues to help athletes of all ages perform at their highest potential.

“Our mission as a company is stronger than ever: unlock human performance, Ahmed said via WHOOPs blog. “We believe that athletes and competitors alike deserve data to help them better understand their bodies.

“This data, particularly Recovery data, will make for healthier athletes, longer careers. I know teams, athletes, and fans alike can benefit from that.”

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