Published: 18:48, February 20, 2024 | Updated: 19:10, February 20, 2024
HK establishes center that uses AI to identify sports elites
By Atlas Shao in Hong Kong

This undated photo shows a sign of the Chinese Unversity of Hong Kong in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong on Tuesday established an innovation center that uses artificial intelligence-based technology to help identify potential elite athletes, highlighting their advantages for performing well in particular sports, and which helps with monitoring sports injuries through early intervention and with formulating recovery plans.

The Global Sports and Wellness Innovation Centre uses AI-based Automatic Retinal Image Analysis within the sports arena. The technology, which was developed by the university in 2015, is able to provide insights into the subject’s physical abilities, including their cognitive function, ability to concentrate, physical strength, speed, agility, reaction time, balance and body coordination.

These indicators can help predict how an athlete might perform in various sports and during competitions. They can also be used to assess minor injuries resulting from a concussion caused by participating in various contact sports like American football, rugby, boxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts.

The center established by the CUHK plans to use the AI technology to monitor the recovery of athletes’ sports injuries

The center also plans to use the AI technology to monitor the recovery of athletes’ sports injuries, with a view to formulating a recovery plan and enabling early intervention.

The center, co-established through cooperation between enterprises and academic institutions in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, aims to apply the technology to provide services and products for sports.

The enterprises involved in the center’s establishment are AquaBloom International Sports Technology Group, Innovax Holding Ltd — responsible for sourcing capital and resources for the center’s projects — and Funeng Intelligent Manufacturing (Beijing) Technology Service Co, Ltd, which is responsible for producing a one-stop manufacturing service including the production of equipment for taking retinal images. 

Benny Zee Chung-ying, director/professor of the Centre for Clinical Research and Biostatistics of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care of CUHK, said the center is a testament to the success of industry-university-research collaboration, and will help the Hong Kong sports sector to identify elite athletes and develop their potential while promoting the development of sports-related technology.

The development of the sports sector will not only create jobs and business opportunities for the sports industry, but should also help raise the standard of health and fitness among the public, Zee said.

Carlos Law, deputy general manager of Funeng Intelligent Manufacturing (Beijing) Technology Service, expects products to be available this year, and mass production to be achieved within a year, provided there are sufficient funds available.

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