Case Study: Eccentron Eccentric Resistance TrainerMedical device design and innovation for improved functionality
About the Eccentron Resistance Trainer
BTE Technologies acquired the Eccentron, a strength-training machine developed for eccentric (or negative resistance) muscle training, then turned to Nottingham Spirk with a highly technical wish list to improve its design and functionality. The Eccentron resembles a recumbent exercise bike, but requires 80% less oxygen than regular peddling. This makes it ideal physical therapy equipment for the elderly and those recovering from surgery or injuries.
The Medical Device Design Challenge & Our Innovation Solution
Our task was to integrate the highly functional mechanical system into an ergonomic training unit to enhance the client experience. Our first challenge was to reduce the height of the base, which was too high for most elderly patients to step over. This was accomplished by shifting all the drive components to the front end. To further refine the unit’s ergonomics, we CAD-modeled a typical human user to identify weaknesses.
Next we developed a “works-like” prototype, fabricated entirely on-site in our Innovation Center, saving time and money. This model was put through extensive evaluation, and the resulting refinements were worked into the “works-like-looks-like” prototype, which included a swiveling seat and a touchscreen control panel.
BTE is marketing the Eccentron resistance trainer to physical therapy, occupational therapy and sports medicine clinics. Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripkin, Jr. appears in the company’s infomercial and is an advocate for eccentric training.