The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is one of the nation’s most cherished sporting events. During the week-long games, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean and 125,000 spectators gathered in Orlando, Florida, for the love of sports and to display the athletes’ remarkable abilities not only on the field but in all areas of life. The Special Olympics USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 19 Olympic-style teams, individual sports, and 30 events.
As part of the Special Olympics USA Games, the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program was accessible to all athletes. Healthy Athletes offers free health screenings and education in eight disciplines, such as vision/eye health, audiology, dentistry, nutrition, emotional health, physical therapy, and podiatry. The health screenings are essential for the athletes and the impact on the health and wellness of Special Olympics athletes is significant as Healthy Athletes can discover undetected health problems, alleviate pain, and provide health services that wouldn’t be available otherwise. Therefore, it was a top priority for the Games to make sure that all athletes could move through the program in the 7 days available.
To facilitate and ensure that the check-in process and completion of these critical health screenings ran smoothly and efficiently and utilized the services of 600 doctors, Qmatic provided the Healthy Athletes program with an appointment and virtual queuing system.
Leveraging Qmatic, the Healthy Athletes program enabled coaches to schedule an appointment online for a group of athletes for different health screenings and check in upon arrival at the Healthy Athletes Experience venue. At check-in, staff placed the group in a virtual queue and coaches were then able to wait in the stands until called. Once it was their turn to head to the health screening, they were notified via SMS, and their assigned ticket number also appeared on various screens around the venue.
Coaches and athletes without an appointment were also able to get in line at the venue and follow the same procedure to enter the virtual queue and get notified via SMS. For groups without mobile devices, numbered tickets were handed out.
“Seeing the Qmatic solution come to life and allowing coaches to schedule Healthy Athlete appointments for the first time at a Special Olympics USA Games was amazing. This was a game-changer for the athlete experience, and we are incredibly grateful for the entire team at Qmatic and the prep work with all the other partners to help this come to life. It took a village, but we wouldn’t have been successful without Qmatic,” said Lonnie Snyder, Chief Information Officer at Special Olympics USA Games.
Qmatic partnered with edgefactory for integrated digital signage, creative media elements, physical signage, and markers that made wayfinding in the Healthy Athlete Experience intuitive, simple, and fun.
The main screen displayed each athlete's ticket number in a color and with a symbol that matched the discipline of the exam they were heading to. This helped athletes know which exam they were headed to and allowed different athletes to wait in the same queue system but attend different exams. For example, if an athlete was up next for an eye exam, their ticket number would appear on the screen in blue, accompanied by an icon of an eye.
Once the group's number was called on the main screen, edgefactory paired the digital wayfinding signage with physical wayfinding elements, giving athletes different cues to lead them to their correct destination. The use of consistent colors and icons made it easy for athletes to find their way and eliminated confusion. Throughout the appointment, check-in, and queue process, it was important to find different ways to make the experience for athletes intuitive, accessible, and stress-free.
Within 7 days, over 13,000 health screenings for 3,900 athletes were carried out across seven disciplines using Qmatic appointment and virtual queuing solutions.