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An end to an era: GE Healthcare and the NBA conclude research collaboration

As 2021 comes to a close, so too does a six-year collaboration between GE Healthcare and the National Basketball Association (NBA) to promote orthopedic and sports medicine research benefiting the health and wellness of NBA players as well as athletes of all levels across the general population. The mission and objectives of the collaboration were broad, including: basic medical research in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery of acute and overuse injuries in the NBA; clinical focus for identifying biomarkers to identify risks for development and prognosis of injuries; standard protocol development for NBA team MR imaging of the knee and ankle; clinical translation of the research beyond the NBA to broader populations; and raising public awareness to promote an active, healthy lifestyle through sports and exercise.
In total, the research studies involved over 10 academic institutions, resulting in 136 international conference presentations, 129 conference abstracts and 44 peer-reviewed publications. In particular for MR, the research output to date has advanced our understanding of cartilage, bone shape and meniscus changes across seasons, and show the feasibility of using quantitative imaging (DTI, UTE T2∗, T2, T1Rho, etc.) for monitoring tissue properties in patella tendinopathy and hamstring injuries in the acute or recovery phase.
GE would especially like to thank Kimberly K. Amrami, MD, Mayo Clinic, Garry Gold, MD, Stanford University, Thomas Link, MD, UCSF, Sharmila Majumdar, PhD, UCSF, and Hollis Potter, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, for their participation, insights and many contributions to the advisory board.