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The need for speed! 10 ways that WhatsApp and instant messaging can enhance communication (and clinical care) in sport and exercise medicine
  1. Osman Hassan Ahmed1,2,
  2. Sean Carmody3,
  3. Lewis J Walker3,
  4. Imtiaz Ahmad3
  1. 1 Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK
  2. 2 The FA Centre for Disability Football Research, The Football Association, Burton-Upon-Trent, UK
  3. 3 Medical Department, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Osman Hassan Ahmed, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth BH1 3LT, UK; osman.hassan.ahmed{at}

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Just as the majority of athletes are constantly seeking to get faster and better, sport and exercise medicine (SEM) clinicians need quicker and more efficient strategies to communicate with their athletes and colleagues. This drive for enhanced communication by clinicians is underscored by Ekstrand and colleagues’ finding that positive internal communication between the medical team and the head coach/manager in elite football reduced injury burden and increased player availability.1 Return-to-play timings can make or break a team’s success in elite sport, and it is natural for clinical teams to push boundaries with regards to their speed of communication.

Inevitable, important and immediate

At the elite level of sport, the majority of SEM clinicians will use some form of instant messaging (IM platform) for three main purposes:

  1. To discuss player findings with other staff members.

  2. To plan treatment sessions.

  3. To interact with athletes to reassure/advise them on their status and recovery.

Table 1 outlines examples of these, …

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