News :

February 6, 2013 : Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea breaks all-time health screening record

2,135 athletes from 115 countries attended the Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang in South Korea in February 2013.
1,529 (71.6%) of them underwent at least one of the health screening programs available.  Such a high percentage of the attending athletes receiving at least one screening was an all-time record high for Special Olympics

On average each athlete attended 4.7 of the 6 screening programs, also a record for Special Olympics.

Special Olympics World Winter Games, February 2013

The Special Olympics 2013 World Winter Games, held in PyeongChang, South Korea in February 2013 and was host to 2,135 athletes from 115 countries for 8 days of Olympic style events.

As the exclusive Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Global Partner since 2003 Health One Global provides its electronic health record software solution HEALTHone for two different applications:

  • Healthy Athletes Software (HAS) to record the screening details of all athletes screened.  This also occurs at up to 900 events world-wide each year;
  • Medical Encounter Software (MES) for the medical primary care of the participating athletes, their coaches, volunteers and member of the public attending all Games events but also including all residential venues.

Healthy Athletes Software

HEALTHone was run on dedicated Health One Global Servers in the Cloud.  All demographic data including sporting event, medical history, contact data was imported directly from the Special Olympics Games Management System (GMS) to create the basic patient record in HEALTHone.

7,192 screenings were carried out in 6 days from 30th January 2013 to 4th February 2013 by global volunteer screeners from around the world.  All screening data was recorded on Special Olympics standard Healthy Athletes forms and taken to the Healthy Athletes data centre, set up specifically for the event.  40 South Korean data enterers worked in shifts on 24 networked PCs to enter the 7,192 screenings into HEALTHone.

Of the 2,135 athletes from 115 countries who attended the Games, 1,529 (71.6%) of them underwent at least one of the 6 health screening programs available.  Such a high percentage of the attending athletes receiving at least one screening was an all-time record high for Special Olympics.  On average each athlete attended 4.7 of the 6 screening programs, also a record for Special Olympics.

To screen 3,751 people from 115 countries in 6 days was a major achievement for Special Olympics.  Few organisations globally have the knowledge, resources, commitment and experience to mount such an event, which Special Olympics does every 4 years, plus a World Winter Games every 4 years too!

The Healthy Athletes free screenings were offered to all athletes in six separate screening programs:

Fit Feet

Podiatry: assessment of feet, gait and footwear, provision of heel raises, onward referral, education.


Physical therapy: measurement of muscle strength, joint mobility, flexibility, range of movement, onward referral, education.

Health Promotion

Health Promotion: comprehensive lifestyle assessment including smoking, diet, exercise, measurement of height and weight, education.

Healthy Hearing

Audiology: comprehensive hearing assessment, fitting hearing aids, onward referral, education.

Opening Eyes

Ophthalmology: comprehensive visual assessment including acuity, color vision, perception, provision of new prescription eyewear on the spot, onward referral, education.

Special Smiles

Dental: comprehensive dental assessment, onward referral, education.

Healthy Athletes Attendance



As % of athletes at Winter World Games 2013

Number of athletes at World Games



Number of athletes screened
(by 1 or more of the 6 screening programs)






Fit Feet






Health Promotion



Healthy Hearing



Opening Eyes



Special Smiles






Total number of screenings



Average screening programs completed
per athlete



Healthy Athletes Screenings Key findings

As at every Special Olympics Healthy Athletes event the screening results in PyeongChang of athletes from all around the world were alarming and demonstrated, yet again, the poor healthcare status and massive unmet needs of people with Intellectual Disability:

  • 62% did not pass the eye screening test;
  • 32% were issued with new glasses at the Games;
  • 40% had untreated dental decay;
  •  8% needed urgent dental treatment;
  • 18% did not pass the hearing screening test;
  • 16% needed a referral for an ear condition;
  •   2% had raised blood pressure and needed follow-up;
  • 40% had gait abnormalities;
  • 22% had foot bone deformities.


The data from PyeongChang will be merged with the master global database that Health One Global manages on behalf of Special Olympics which is already the world’s largest research database on the health parameters of people with Intellectual Disability. Each year data from up to 900 Healthy Athletes events world-wide area are added by Special Olympics.

Medical Encounter Software

HEALTHone was made available at Medical Centers at World Games venues in PyeongChang connected via the Health One Global Servers in the Cloud.

925 Medical Encounters were recorded in HEALTHone between 29th January 2013 when athletes began arriving in PyeongChang for acclimatisation and training and 5th February 2013 when the athletes began to leave PyeongChang.

Korean language version

The Medical Centers were manned by South Korean doctors and nurses working in shifts.  HEALTHone MES was therefore made available in both Korean and English.  At the click of a button HEALTHone switched between English and Korean so that users could use the language most familiar to them.  All structured data entered in Korean was immediately visible in English as HEALTHone is inherently multilingual and is already available in multiple languages.

Note that not only did all structured data switch instantly between English and Korean but systems commands and drop down menus changed too.

HEALTHone therefore behaved as a fully Korean solution for the Korean doctors and nurses.


Copyright HEALTH One Global Ltd, 2007