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DVA 2016: Access Strength Fitness Platform

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IncludeFitness


10 years ago Ryan Eder, a student at the University of Cincinnati, witnessed a man in a wheelchair struggle to work out. It inspired a concept for his senior thesis in product design: inclusive fitness equipment that caters to users of all abilities. Current equipment excludes populations that need it the most–57 million Americans with disabilities, 56 million seniors, 62 million obese Americans, and 3.6 million veterans.

Eder raised $4 million in funding and spent 10 years in development. The result is the IncludeFitness exercise machine. Patented pulley configuration enables hundreds of exercises to be performed independently: standing, seated, or in a wheelchair. The team replaced spring-loaded pins with dexterity free handles that can be operated with a single arm and a closed first. Weight selection is automated through proprietary software or can be manually adjusted simply by rotating a dial. User stability is ensured by offering an integrated seat with high adjustment and a transfer handle, along with a stability pad for additional support. Audio feedback, 70% color contrast, and raised labels are available for the visually impaired. Software guides users through their routine explaining exercises, machine setup, and more.

As the team tested a prototype, they also uncovered inefficiencies in American health care delivery. Treatment is siloed, care is reactionary versus preventative, and documentation is manual and subjective. IncludeFitness’ goal added a software platform called IF Coud that records and shares patient progress data to impact all three tiers of the system: Patients, Providers, and Payers

The results are positive. For providers early studies show IFCloud saves providers 10-20% more time, enabling a single practitioner to see 1-2 more patients per day. For payers, the system saves money by minimizing lengths of stay in short term care. Payers also receive data that has direct impact on readmissions and unnecessary care costs. In addition, data collected can be analyzed on a macro scale to understand best practices and the most efficient protocols for particular demographics. And for patients, IncludeFitness has provided an equal platform of fitness for all users regardless of size, age, mobility or fitness levels

 

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PUBLISHED: Barriers, Supports, and Celebration of Good Design (Volume Vol. 27, No. 4) 2016

 

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