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~ OnTracx launch - a Ghent University sports-tech spin-off

Fig: OnTracx logo

A couple of months ago, OnTracx, a Ghent University sports-tech spin-off launched with the ‘dream of a world where every runner can stay injury-free’. That dream is based on a firmly grounded interdisciplinary research project, which I was fortunate to contributed to. The research project - headed by the UGent sports science department - developed a music-based bio-feedback system to reduce footfall shock while running with the aim to lower common running-related injury risk. I fondly remember soldering and programing the first cluncky prototypes, now already eight years ago!

In my role, I contributed to several key papers that form the foundation of OnTracx. Notably, the ‘validity and reliability’ paper, which has become the most cited work in my academic portfolio, which at least indicates academic interest. The main author of the paper is now doing a post-doc in Harvard, so he must have been doing something right! Additionally, I am also recognized as co-inventor on a patent related to the system.

Fig: schema of the low impact runner research system. Foot-fall impact is measured with wearable sensors and music-based feedback is given to the runner with the aim to avoid high impact.

The journey from research to commercial realization is always thrilling. As OnTracx steps into the market, I am filled with hope and anticipation for its success, mirroring and potentially exceeding the fruitful research track.

For more, read the spin-off story of OnTracx, the solution for lower impact running or join the beta program on the OnTracx website and help with ‘dream of a world where every runner can stay injury-free’.