Irish sports performance company Orreco has been chosen by IBM to be its first global partner in developing a software application that can help professional athletes and sports teams to avoid injury and perform for longer.

The partnership will see Orreco’s expertise and data fed into IBM Watson, based in New York.

The new app powered by IBM Watson will be called Coach Watson.

Watson is the world’s first commercially available cognitive computing capability and can process huge volumes of data in minutes, understanding complex questions posed in natural language, and is also able to suggest evidence-based answers.

IBM Watson made global news headlines in 2011 after it comprehensively beat human competitors in the US game show ‘Jeopardy!’.

Orreco, led by sports scientist and co-founder Dr Brian Moore, has developed bio-analytics that analyse blood and other performance data in an elite athlete’s body.

Its work is centred on bio analytics – the data gleaned from blood biomarkers that helps to pinpoint, monitor and understand a body’s performance and behaviour.

The Irish company will now be able to offer its exclusive intelligence through Coach Watson, helping coaches and teams rapidly search for detailed answers to questions about medical research, games schedules, player sleep, nutrition data, recovery, injury and fatigue.

The first client to work with Orreco and Coach Watson will be the US-based Nike Oregon Track Club Elite, helping to individualise training loads and inform planning around competition, travel schedules and recovery plans.

At present, Orreco works with elite sports stars and teams including golf major winners Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, English Premier League side Newcastle United, F1 teams and in the US, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball teams.