Aspetar reaffirms its global leadership in sports medicine and science in 2022
Heralding a new era of success, Aspetar, Orthopaedic, and Sports Medicine Hospital has positioned itself as a global leader in sports medicine with its state-of-the-art facilities, world-class research, and fabulous and unique services. Its excellence in providing healthcare services to elite athletes is an extension of its successes over the past decade, and the hospital has become a shining face for the State of Qatar globally.
Aspetar achieved exceptional achievements throughout 2022 assuming global leadership in various medical and scientific fields, excellence in research, and the development of first-of-its-kind treatment and surgical technics in the region. This has helped Aspetar being recognised as a leader by major medical and higher sports bodies nationally and internationally.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the historic event, organized by Qatar concluded a full year of achievements for Aspetar as the facility provided comprehensive medical services to sports stars, led by a highly qualified medical staff, which was praised by the various participating countries and guests of FIFA.
World Cup confirms Aspetar’s leadership position
Aspetar was the only specialist sports medicine healthcare institution to provide athlete services to all 32 visiting teams, team delegations, and FIFA VIPs.
Aspetar's services in the World Cup were characterized by three main parts. The first one was the conversion of the main hospital to a polyclinic to receive all requests, operating around the clock. Second was the use of Aspetar's medical staff, who work in clubs and sports federations in Qatar and as a part of the National Sports Medicine Program and provide their services in training centers as well as the hotels of participating delegations. The third part was the establishment of the recovery center which was specifically designed to anticipate the needs of athletes with short turnaround times in between each match. This included the use of the latest recovery technology and spaces for treatment and active recovery for large groups.
During the World Cup, more than 160 athletes and patients benefited from Aspetar's services at least once at the Aspetar polyclinic dedicated to treating athletes, compared to 400 requests and medical consultations. The number of those treated on a daily basis reached 16 players participating in the tournament and about 30 requests per day during peak time of the tournament.
More than 120 MRIs were completed across the tournament. Thanks to a new technology implemented, the medical teams of each player undergoing imaging received a digital audiovisual format of the radiology report which was also available in 5 different languages. This was the first time such a technology was used in a World Cup and in the region.
In terms of external services provided by Aspetar to the participating teams and delegations, 52 medical staff were seconded from Aspetar during the tournament, with an average of more than 2,000 hours of physiotherapy, medical, nursing and massage therapy provided at the request of six teams participating in the tournament.
During the tournament, 16 medical clinics were handed over to 16 visiting teams to be used during the World Cup, while More than 60 pieces of Aspetar’s equipment were loaned to training sites and hotels to support the visiting teams.
The Recovery Centre, dedicated to participating teams at Aspetar, was used more than 200 times by athletes during the tournament, with Australia and Morocco being the most users of the hospital facilities. Over 800 servings of fresh recovery drinks and sports nutrition functional items were dispensed from the Aspetar Sports Nutrition Corner to the team members to help with muscle recovery.
As for the scientific and research aspects, Aspetar, in cooperation with FIFA, conducted a research study on injuries and diseases during the World Cup, in addition to other research studies on brain and heart concussions to be used to make appropriate decisions in the upcoming world competitions. Aspetar's participation in the Qatar 2022 World Cup carried positive imprints in many respects by having a great medical legacy in the service of global sports.
Aspetar amongst the top 10 medical centers in the world
This year 2022, Aspetar achieved a new milestone, with the renewal of International Olympic Committee accreditation as part of a network of global research centers in the field of athlete health and injury prevention, which include only 11 medical centers in the world. This confirms Aspetar’s global medical position as a leading center in the field of sports medicine,
Aspetar is one of the few medical and research centres in the world accredited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for athletes' health and injury prevention and now it has been extended for an additional four years. This is the second time Aspetar has got renewed its accreditation since it was first granted in 2014.
Aspetar is one of the rare hospitals in the world to be accredited by the world's largest sports bodies such as IOC and FIFA and the only one in the Middle East and North Africa region to receive this feat.
The first healthcare organisation in the world to achieve a perfect score on Accreditation Canada
Aspetar has been awarded the official Accreditation Canada Diamond Level Status. Re-accredited at Diamond Level until Nov 2024, Aspetar became the first healthcare organisation in the world to achieve a perfect score on Version 4 of the Qmentum International™ Standards. As a result, Accreditation Canada’s Accreditation Decision Committee (ADC) has re-awarded Diamond Level Status to Aspetar, the highest level of recognition. More than 35 countries and 15,000 healthcare sites use Accreditation Canada programs.
The Top Sports Medicine Research Institute
Aspetar is ranked as one of the best medical institutions in sports medicine research due to its commitment to helping athletes achieve their full potential by publishing hundreds of scientific articles. Aspetar researchers have published more than a thousand research articles reviewed by specialized academics, an average of 150 research studies per year, since the establishment of Aspetar's research division in 2008.
Aspetar staff members have published more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles, with an average of 150 research studies every year, since the Aspetar Research Department was established in 2008.
Aspetar’s team of experts aims to assist in the protection of athlete health and well-being, whilst also helping to improve athletic performance when returning from an injury. The research activities on sports medicine are targeted to improve the quality of medical care for athletes.
As one of the department’s pilot programs, Athlete Screening Research undertakes pre-competition medical assessments in athletes to identify medical conditions that may be detrimental to an athlete’s general health and/or performance. Aspetar has medically screened over 18,000 athletes from all around the World and continuously analyses the data to identify specific interventions to safeguard athletes.
During the last World Cup, Aspetar, in partnership with FIFA, conducted a research on injuries as part of Aspetar's preventive programme, which aims to reduce injuries and prevent diseases in athletes, similar to that carried out by Aspetar in the AFC Champions League, which has been underway since 2014.
First Clinical Guideline on Ramadan Fasting and Exercise for Healthy Individuals
Aspetar this year issued the first-of-its-kind clinical guideline to address Ramadan fasting and exercise for healthy individuals.
This Aspetar guideline, developed in accordance with the international best practices, is the result of extensive collaboration amongst specialists in Qatar and international experts representing scientific and educational institutions in Tunisia, Malaysia, Singapore, Morocco, Italy, Canada, and New Zealand. The guideline will be reviewed and updated regularly to integrate current best evidence and expert opinions from all relevant specialists and athletes involved in training and competing during Ramadan.
The 21-page guideline discusses topics related to exercise and health practices in healthy individuals and professional athletes during Ramadan. While discussing the right time to train before and/or after Iftar, the guideline also addresses the principle of repetition, the intensity of the exercise, time, and type for optimal training. Other important aspects such as nutrition, hydration, and cooling strategies are also discussed without neglecting the psychological and spiritual effects, and social and cognitive aspects of exercising during the holy month.
A new advanced therapy to repair cartilage defects
Aspetar's surgeons were able to use a new first-of-its-kind technique for the treatment and restoration of knee cartilage, making the hospital the first medical institute in the region to use this technique.
Aspetar hospital is the first in the region to perform a kind of regeneration cartilage that helps repair cartilage defects, a chronic condition that affects many athletes and patients.
The newly introduced technic used by Aspetar surgeons is the first one-stage cartilage repair with freshly isolated Chondrocytes, to be performed out of Europe.
The cartilage cells were harvested and isolated from the patient, and then prepared in a portable lab, enhanced by stem cells, and applied to a biological membrane. This membrane was then implanted to the cartilage defect in the patient’s knee.
Recently, Aspetar surgeons were able to perform a complete joint replacement, in an operation that is the first of its kind to be performed in Qatar, to treat arthritis, which abounds at the level of the hand and arm. The techniques used to treat this condition include surgeries without the need to keep the patient in the hospital or restrict his movement, where the joint function is gradually restored, and full mobility can be achieved even after surgery.
This technique will provide the residents of Qatar with a wonderful surgical technique to restore thumb function and reduce pain.
Aspetar's Sports Surgery Department has a team of world-renowned highly skilled surgeons from around the world, who perform sports and arthroscopic surgeries using the latest technology and equipment.
Local and global medical partnerships
Aspetar's excellence comes within the framework of the implementation of the Qatar National Vision 2030 project in the health sector, through the establishment of a series of local and international medical and educational partnerships, as this year witnessed the excellence of Aspetar and its experts in many local and international conferences.
Earlier this year, Aspetar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PHCC for a Primary Care Sports Medicine partnership, advancing both parties’ commitment to education and excellence in clinical services.
The PHCC-Aspetar MoU strengthens the Primary Care Sports Medicine education partnership between the two institutions and emphasises the considerable potential for authentic collaboration. It would provide a unique opportunity for PHCC Family Physicians to receive clinical training in a world-class institution such as Aspetar specialising in integrated sports medicine service delivery. This ensures a legacy in Qatar of highly qualified Primary Care Sports Medicine physicians.
Aspetar has also signed a cooperation agreement with Hamad Medical Corporation's Heart Hospital to establish a fellowship in the Sports Cardiology Programme. This program aims to develop future medical expertise in the field of sports heart function and disease for the benefit of patients and athletes in Qatar and the region.
Another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with WISH, a Qatar Foundation (WISH) initiative, to strengthen ties in healthcare, education, and research, with Aspetar being among the partners and sponsors of this year.
Internationally, Aspetar collaborated with the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford to deliver the Hip Injury Symposium for Young Athletes held in September at Worcester College, Oxford (London).
Aspetar holds dozens of scientific conferences regularly throughout the year, where it supervises seminars and workshops for healthcare providers in Qatar reflecting Aspetar's expertise in providing medical coverage for major international sporting events.
Several workshops and conferences were organised by Aspetar, for doctors and medical personnel to enable them provide high-level medical services to all participating teams during the World Cup, how to deal with emergencies and injuries on the field, oral health, and other topics such as how to deal with head injuries and concussions.
Ideal medical coverage for over 60 sporting events
Aspetar provided medical services to most of the local and international sports events held in Qatar throughout 2022, with FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 being the most prominent event. Aspetar was present in all sports competitions by providing medical care to all athletes in the country in a professional and distinctive manner, reflecting the hospital's leadership in the field of sports medicine and sports sciences.
Aspetar has provided medical care to more than 60 sporting events in various disciplines, including world tennis championships, swimming, gymnastics, fencing, equestrian, and volleyball in addition to the Qatar Stars League of which Aspetar is an official partner of the Federation.
Aspetar has extensive experience in managing major sporting events by providing medical care at a rate of 100 sporting events per year, including major sporting events hosted in Qatar.
Aspetar's accumulated experience during its participation in international events over the past decade, and Aspetar's experts who have distinguished experience in providing the best health care in major sports gatherings, have contributed significantly to the success of sporting events in the country in cooperation with its partners locally and internationally.
Aspetar is a world leading specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, and the first of its kind in the Middle East. Since 2007, with a world expert team, the hospital has provided top-level comprehensive medical treatment to all athletes in a state-of-the-art facility that sets new standards internationally.
In 2009, Aspetar was accredited as a “FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence”. In 2013, Aspetar was adopted as a reference collaborator centre by the Gulf Countries Council (GCC) Health Ministers Council and “IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health” in 2014.
In 2015, Aspetar has been recognised as the “IHF Reference Centre for Athlete and Referee Health”. In 2017, Aspetar was awarded World Health Organization’s Patient Safety Friendly Hospital-Level 3 designation.
In 2018, Aspetar – Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital was officially awarded Diamond Level accreditation status by Accreditation Canada. This is the highest level of accreditation award possible under the program and awarded to highly committed and quality-oriented organizations that monitor outcomes, use evidence and best practice to improve services. Aspetar is now the first hospital in the State of Qatar to be awarded this coveted Diamond Level Status. Aspetar is a member–organisation of Aspire Zone Foundation, Qatar’s innovative sports and healthy lifestyle destination.