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

 

SIMBEX DELIVERS ACTIVESTEP™ TECHNOLOGY INTO THE CLINICAL ENVIRONMENT

Connecticut’s Masonicare is the First Senior Healthcare Provider in the U.S. to Offer ActiveStep™ Fall Prevention Technology

Lebanon, NH - July 17, 2007 - Simbex LLC, a world-renowned research and development company in the field of active life improvement, has developed and released a fall prevention system, ActiveStep™, for clinical use ActiveStep made its debut in a clinical setting at Masonicare, an integrated healthcare campus for the elderly in Wallingford, Connecticut. "After more than a decade in the laboratory, hundreds of trials and several years of adapting the device for clinical use, ActiveStep is available clinically to tackle the very serious problem of falls in the elderly," said President and Founder of Simbex, Richard M. Greenwald, PhD. "This is a very important day for Simbex."

Falls and injuries resulting from falls in the elderly are a major healthcare issue in the United States, resulting in increased healthcare costs for individuals and providers and loss of mobility and independence for many elderly Americans. The problem is particularly acute for nursing homes, where people are generally frailer than older adults living in the community. These individuals tend to be older, have more chronic illnesses, including cognitive disorders, and often have difficulty walking.

Masonicare, a premier provider of integrated services for the elderly, doesn’t believe that falls are inevitable for the elderly. They, like many top researchers in the field, believe that falls can be prevented. Masonicare takes an aggressive approach to reducing the risk of falling for its residents and that is why they have embraced the new ActiveStep technology that was developed over the past decade at the University of Illinois – Chicago, one of the nation’s premiere biomechanics research laboratories with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

ActiveStep™ uses an approach that is like simulator training that improves the natural recovery reflex that we are all born with. The user experiences a number of postural disturbances, like standing in a moving train car, that are caused by precise movements programmed into a unique ActiveStep treadmill. They are protected from an actual fall by a suspension vest. With each imbalance, the body reacts by making compensating movements of the upper body and arms, taking a step or steps, or a combination of the two: all to produce a recovery movement and to avoid a fall. In less than 5 trials, the device detects changes in the speed and accuracy of the recovery movement using the precise kinematic measurements of the steps and the torso movements. These real-time measurements of the movements and steps during a dynamic response to imbalances are outcome measures that show levels of improvement gained from the training sessions.

ActiveStep is also a fall-risk assessment device. The kinematic measurements can determine if a person has an unusually elevated risk of falling because their recovery step has become inefficient due to lack of use. For this patient, the simulator training can return the recovery movement to its former proficiency.

Masonicare plans to use the ActiveStep for residents of their extended care facilities, assisted living residents and outpatient services. “We are very excited to offer ActiveStep training here at Masonicare. We feel it is an important tool in our arsenal of services to maintain maximum mobility, freedom and confidence for our residents and patients,” said William C. Piper, President of the Masonic Healthcare Center.

ActiveStep was developed by Simbex LLC, of Lebanon, NH in part with funding from the National Institute of Aging through the Small Business Innovation Research program. The concept for ActiveStep is based on research pioneered by Mark Grabiner, PhD at University of Illinois – Chicago in the Department of Movement Sciences and supported by research funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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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