SBIR and STTR Success Story for

(Information Posted/Updated on 07/09/2004)

8515 35th Ave. NE
Suite C
Seattle, WA  98115

Contact:    Kim Coleman
Phone:      206-522-4566
Web Site:

Project Title:  An Easy-to-Use System for Ambulatory Activity Evaluation
Related Award(s):  R43 HD 39036-01, R44 HD 39036-02
Technology Developed:
The StepWatch Activity Monitor (SAM) is a highly adjustable, computer-programmable instrument that is worn on the ankle and records the number of steps taken every minute for up to 2 months between downloads. It is unobtrusive, waterproof, maintenance-free, and extremely durable. Accuracy typically exceeds 98% regardless of walking style, from completely functional to highly impaired. It is equally accurate for persons who are obese as for those who are not and is capable of monitoring low weight-bearing activities such as water aerobics.

The data are transferred to a personal computer for display, filtering and analysis. Because the step counts are recorded every minute, patterns and intensity profiles of activity can be examined as well as overall activity level. A standard report can be printed for inclusion in medical records. The raw data and analysis results can easily be exported to spreadsheets. A built-in database can be used to track individuals over time or compare study groups.

Key Words:  walk, physical activity, ambulatory monitoring, pedometer, StepWatch, SAM, step, instrument.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
The StepWatch is in use by researchers and/or clinicians on four continents to evaluate status, function, outcome or behavior for many purposes. Topics have included lower limb prosthetics, total hip replacement, total knee replacement, hip fracture rehabilitation, stroke rehabilitation, bio-materials development, surgical efficacy, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, brain injury, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, obesity, physical therapy, exercise interventions, health maintenance, population description, and many others.

Benefit to Company:
The Phase I and II SBIR grants allowed us to effectively start up the company; attract talented, experienced employees; re-design hardware for manufacturability; significantly reduce manufacturing costs; create powerful, user-friendly software (PC and Mac); collect normative data; complete demonstration projects; and obtain FDA clearance for the StepWatch.

How Product Was Commercialized:
The product was initially commercialized solely through scientific presentations/ publications, word of mouth, and information available on a website. Recently added approaches are trade show and scientific conference exhibitions, advertisements in trade magazines, direct mailings, targeted emails, press releases, and newspaper articles.

Past R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $500K
Estimated Future Annual R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $400K