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Editorial Contacts

Theresa Hays
Simbex LLC
(603) 448-2367
thays@simbex.com

 

REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH TO REDUCING FALLS IN THE ELDERLY POPULATION IS UNVEILED AT NEW HAMPSHIRE CONFERENCE
Improving the ability to recover lost balance from imbalances, trips and slips becomes a reality using simulator training

Lebanon, NH - June 8, 2007 - Richard M. Greenwald, PhD, president and founder of Simbex, made the first public presentation and demonstration of a revolutionary approach to reducing the risk of falling for the elderly. Simbex has been working in cooperation Mark Grabiner, PhD, Director and Professor of the Department of Movement Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, to develop a system to be used to assess the level of risk of falling and to help reduce the risk of falling in the elderly population. The ActiveStep™ fall assessment and fall training system, developed in part with a Small Business Innovation Research award from the National Institute of Aging at the National Institutes of Health. was demonstrated at an educational seminar hosted by the New Hampshire Falls Risk Reduction Task Force.

ActiveStep is a form of simulator training that helps to revive and tune-up the automatic recovery response that is invoked when we become imbalanced due to a slip, trip or other postural disturbance. This natural, automatic response includes stepping and upper body motions that happen in the blink of an eye and which keep a person from falling when momentarily out of balance - but this response can become less efficient with age. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center fro Injury Prevention and Control, one third of older adults over the age of 65 fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among individuals for the population with risk of falling and injury rates increasingly common with advanced age. According to statistics available from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, in 2002, 5,492 seniors in New Hampshire sought medical treatment in an emergency room because they fell, and an additional 1,855 needed to be hospitalized. This represented $3.5 million in total emergency room costs and $26.3 million in inpatient hospitalization costs.

The New Hampshire Falls Risk Reduction Task Force, composed of professionals from multiple medical and rehabilitation disciplines, reviewed the latest research to determine which interventions demonstrated evidence based falls risk reduction. Next, the Task Force has developed and collected materials to assist professionals and the public to reduce the risk of falls. At the Task Force’s annual educational conference, entitled Evidence Based Falls Risk Reduction in the Elderly: Taking it to the Next Level, Dr, Greenwald was a featured presenter and the ActiveStep made its public debut.

Over 100 New Hampshire healthcare professionals were treated to a demonstration of the ActiveStep and a presentation of the science that led to its development. "This was a historic day for Simbex. This technology offers an additional tool for the medical community to assess and prevent falls. After several years of development, today ActiveStep officially came out of the lab and joined our family of products," said Dr. Greenwald. "I was very gratified by the positive response we received by the Task Force participants. These professionals truly understand the gravity of this problem and are actively seeking solutions to improve the situation surrounding falls in the elderly."

About Simbex LLC
Simbex is a research and product development company whose core expertise is biomechanical feedback systems. The company develops marketable products and solutions from emerging technologies for active life improvement in the areas of prosthetics, sports injury prevention and rehabilitation. The founders are internationally recognized experts in their fields and have decades of experience in the area of functional evaluation and efficacy assessment of complex biomechanical systems for the sporting goods, orthopedic and exercise equipment industries. The research branch of the company is supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. For further information about Simbex, visit the company's Web site at http://www.simbex.com.


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