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Potential use of new cooling technologies during Tokyo 2020 Olympics and associated ethical dilemmas
  1. Borja Muniz-Pardos1,
  2. Konstantinos Angeloudis2,
  3. Fergus M Guppy2,3,
  4. Kumpei Tanisawa4,
  5. Yuri Hosokawa4,
  6. Garrett Ash5,6,
  7. Wolfgang Schobersberger7,
  8. Andrew Grundstein8,
  9. Victor Bargoria9,10,
  10. Gerald O Lwande11,
  11. James H Ombaka11,
  12. Emin Ergen12,13,
  13. Fumihiro Yamasawa14,
  14. Sebastien Racinais15,
  15. Douglas J Casa16,
  16. Yannis P Pitsiladis2,17,18,19
  1. 1 GENUD Research group, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
  2. 2 Centre for Stress and Age Related Disease, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK
  3. 3 School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK
  4. 4 Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan
  5. 5 Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  6. 6 Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-morbidities, and Education (PRIME), VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA
  7. 7 Institute for Sports Medicine, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism, Private University UMIT TIROL, Hall and Tirol Kliniken GmbH, Innsbruck, Austria
  8. 8 Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA
  9. 9 Moi University, School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
  10. 10 Team Doctor, Athletics Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
  11. 11 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technology, School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya
  12. 12 Halic University, School of Sport Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey
  13. 13 Chief Medical Officer, Turkish National Olympic Committee (TNOC), Istanbul, Turkey
  14. 14 Marubeni Health Promotion Center, Tokyo, Japan
  15. 15 Research and Scientific Support, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  16. 16 Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA
  17. 17 Centre for Exercise Sciences and Sports Medicine, FIMS Collaborating Centre of Sports Medicine, Rome, Italy
  18. 18 International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS), Lausanne, Switzerland
  19. 19 European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations (EFSMA), Lausanne, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Yannis P Pitsiladis, University of Brighton, Brighton BN2 4AT, UK; Y.Pitsiladis{at}

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The environmental conditions during Tokyo Summer Olympics are expected to be comparable to previous years1 with air temperatures and relative humidity in excess of 30°C and >70%, respectively.2 A previous consensus statement highlighted the main considerations for prevention, recognition and treatment of exertional heat illnesses,3 while the impact of extreme heat on athletic performance is examined elsewhere.4 Cooling strategies applied before and during the exercise in the heat have been shown to help athletes better maintain their performances5 by lowering body heat storage and core body temperature.6 The Tokyo Games have also encouraged the development of wearable technologies that could also be used for prevention, diagnosis and real-time monitoring of skin and core temperature and will be trialled during competition in Tokyo 2020. Here, we aim to highlight the potential application of current novel technologies and the associated ethical dilemmas regarding their effectiveness, the use of athlete biodata and predictive algorithms.

Development of portable cooling technologies

Recently, manufacturers have developed new cooling wearables that have the potential to reduce exertional heatstroke (EHS) risk and to reduce the decline in athletic performance in hot environments, with the most novel summarised in table 1. Here, the focus is not on cooling …

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  • Twitter @BorjaMunizP, @fergusguppy, @ephysiol

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the writing and approved the final version in accordance with the BJSM instructions to authors.

  • Funding GA is supported by a fellowship from the Office of Academic Affiliations at the United States Veterans Health Administration.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.