The NFL will introduce a new pilot program this season which would put an athlete's entire medical history online so that team physicians would be able to have it readily available should they need it. Eight teams, including the New York Giants, will take part in this program.
The information, which will include anything from past X-Rays to casual notes, will be stored on iPads and made available on the sidelines during each game.
"Let's say [a player] starts out with the Rams, and then he's either cut or traded or leaves as a free agent, goes to the Denver Broncos, then the information will be portable," said Matthew Matava, head team physician for the St. Louis Rams and president of the NFL Physicians Society. "The Denver doctors will then have any information that was accrued while he was in St. Louis. Like any other electronic medical record, it will be portable with the player and therefore very accurate."
Although many ins and outs of this new program still need to be ironed out, the biggest concern comes from the availability of medical records for free agents — mainly in that players wouldn't want their medical history preventing them from getting a job.
"We are still discussing how to handle free agent medical records with the union," the NFL said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. "It is a work in progress. We will not use the EMR to share records between teams until after the pilot stage of the program."
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