New Delhi: In a move to prioritise spectator well-being at cricket matches, the Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) recently wrote a persuasive letter to both the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Bureau of Cricket Council of India (BCCI) advocating for the integration of life-saving medical devices near spectators as a safety measure.
A report by Harvard Business School has indicated that the adrenaline rush, stress levels and emotional fluctuations experienced by spectators at live sports matches can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular events, brain strokes, etc. In their findings, they underscore the importance of timely access to life-saving medical interventions, such as defibrillators and ECG monitoring, as critical components of spectator safety protocols. The proposed integration includes advanced medical monitoring systems, emergency response equipment, and other cutting-edge technologies that can significantly enhance the ability to respond promptly to any health-related incidents in the crowd.
Pavan Choudary, Chairman, MTaI said, “In the spirit of the game, we believe that safety should know no boundaries. Our representation to the ICC and BCCI underscores the importance of integrating medical technology near spectators, ensuring a healthier and more secure cricketing experience.”
“Our vision is to make cricket matches (or any other sporting event), not just a spectacle but a health-conscious, fan-friendly experience. We propose that the cricketing landscape be made safe with the integration of state-of-the-art medical devices strategically placed within the spectator areas, creating a safety net that aligns seamlessly with the thrill of the game,” added Choudary.
Adding to Choudary’s views, Dr OP Yadava, CEO & Chief Cardiac Surgeon, National Heart Institute & Director, All India Heart Foundation said, “The escalating prevalence of cardiac arrests among India’s young population necessitates the integration of life-saving medical devices near spectators during live sporting events. Timely availability of these devices is a critical safety measure, potentially turning a moment of crisis into an opportunity to save lives.”
Speaking on the issue of spectator safety, Dr Ratna Devi, Director, Patient Academy for Innovation and Research & Chairwoman, ISPOR Patient Council stated, “I believe that the integration of life-saving medical devices near spectators
would be a critical step towards ensuring swift and effective response in the face of potential health emergencies. Just as we prioritise patient safety within the confines of a hospital, extending this commitment to public spaces, like cricket stadiums, large events and other venues will be a logical and necessary progression. This move could establish a new standard for public health at sporting events, setting an example for global best practices in ensuring the safety and well-being of diverse audiences.”
The letter to the cricket councils emphasises the collaboration between the medical technology industry and cricketing bodies to establish a new standard for fan safety. MTaI also believes that this initiative will not only set a precedent in cricket but also inspire similar measures across other sporting events globally.