aimtech hurt0516Chris Hurt works with a geriatric patient to measure her fitness level on the ResistX treadmill. After its debut in Boston, the ResistX will be used in Hurt's lab in the UAB Department of Physical Therapy.A unique treadmill designed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at UAB and Southern Research will make its debut at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in Boston May 31-June 4.

The device, ResistX, is the first product produced by the Alliance for Innovative Medical Technology (AIMTech), a partnership between Southern Research and the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“ResistX is different from anything on the market, and represents a significant milestone for AIMTech and the physical therapy and rehab communities,” said Robert Hergenrother, Ph.D., director of AIMTech and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

ResistX is a unique force-induced treadmill designed with safety in mind and engineered for use in physical therapy and rehabilitation centers. It is the first treadmill to allow individuals recovering from neurological or physical disorders — such as injury, stroke, or surgery — to exercise in a challenging treadmill environment to improve cardiovascular fitness and lower limb strength. Thanks to a custom algorithm, the device employs resistive forces to increase the amount of work required by an individual to move under his or her own effort, and at a comfortable pace.

Additionally, in order to guard against injury, ResistX features a protective catching mechanism and padded backstop. These features ensure that if a user loses balance, he or she will not fall or be thrown from the device.

The project was accelerated by a $164,800 grant from the Alabama Innovation Fund — a program administered by the Alabama Department of Commerce that provides funding for promising research being conducted at Alabama universities and organizations.

Read more