SBIR and STTR Success Story for

(Information Posted/Updated on 03/04/2008)

10 Water Street
Suite 410
Lebanon, NH  03766

Contact:    Richard M. Greenwald, PhD
Phone:      603-448-2367
Web Site:

Project Title:  ActiveStep Fall Prevention Training System
Related Award(s):  R44 AG023407
Technology Developed:
A treadmill-based rehabilitation simulator system, ActiveStep, that imposes dynamic postural perturbations to human subjects. ActiveStep provides the enabling technology for large-scale application of clinically relevant falls assessment and fall prevention training.

Key Words:  Fall prevention, Fall-risk assessment, Falls in the elderly, Task specific training, Neuromuscular programming, Dynamic gait training, Fall recovery.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
Falls are a leading cause of injury and mortality in the elderly. Ongoing research using the ActiveStep simulator has demonstrated that a training program for tripping and slipping reduces the number of falls in older adults subject to laboratory induced trip and slip disturbances. Use of ActiveStep is hypothesized to reduce the incidence of falls, the leading cause of injury deaths among people over 65 years old, thereby reducing health care costs associated with the treatment and rehabilitation of injuries sustained during a fall. ActiveStep provides repeated exposures to a slip or trip distance to retrain neuromuscular reflexes that affect the biomechanical response to a postural disturbance that results in a recovery rather than in a fall. ActiveStep is intended to reduce the incidence of falls and injuries related to falls,. The product is currently being offered to acute care hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, Veterans Administration service providers, skilled nursing facilities , assisted living facilities, and other service providers for the elderly by a dedicated sales staff.

Benefit to Company:
The Principal Objective of this NIH SBIR program was to complete product development efforts for and clinical validation of ActiveStep. Current design goals include reducing the cost of goods for manufacturing and meeting electrical and mechanical safety requirements and life-cycle testing that are included in national and international standards for commercial exercise equipment. ActiveStep launches the rehabilitation division of Simbex. The ActiveStep SBIR program and subsequent commercial product(s) provide local jobs for employees in both research and development and light manufacturing.

How Product Was Commercialized:
Simbex commercialized ActiveStep technology in-house using internal funding. Simbex currently manufacturers and distributes the product from its Lebanon, New Hampshire location, with a dedicated sales staff. Financing and operational decisions for ongoing scale-up are under evaluation.

Past R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $1.8M