John Batsis, MD, associate professor of medicine in the division of geriatric medicine, and a team of researchers from Dartmouth who founded SynchroHealth, have been awarded nearly $225,000 from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging to develop and test “BandPass.” The remote-sensing resistance band exercise system will allow health care providers to monitor, evaluate, and guide patients as they use the device in their homes.
“Assessing at-home compliance to exercise programs is often challenging for health care providers because they must rely on patient self-reports, which may not be fully documented and may be subject to bias,” said Batsis, who was formerly an associate professor at Dartmouth and joined the department of medicine’s division of geriatric medicine last year.
“Because compliance rates are usually around 40 percent, we are excited to introduce a consumer product that has the potential to help a lot of people in resistance-based exercise programs, which can bridge the gap between clinicians and patients with easier and more accurate remote monitoring of physical therapy exercises.”
The Bluetooth-enabled device is being designed specifically for the treatment of age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, known as sarcopenia, that affects almost 15 percent of adults over the age of 60. Similar to other at-home resistance-based exercises, BandPass would promote muscular regeneration and growth, but it would be unique in that the data collected could motivate patients and be monitored by a physician in order to intervene, should the patient not perform the exercises regularly or correctly.
The one-year Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant will enable SynchroHealth researchers to further develop and refine a previous prototype, as well as develop a mobile application and cloud-based service for data transmission, processing, and storage. The team plans to test the device on a cohort of 16 patients to obtain feedback. Batsis hopes this line of work will complement and extend existing efforts in geriatric medicine and the Center for Aging and Health, to improve the care of the older adult.
Batsis is partnering with researchers from Dartmouth who include Ryan Halter, PhD (principal investigator), Sue Mohieldin, and SynchroHealth co-founders: Curtis Petersen, PhD, and Colin Minor, all of whom have equity in the company and are inventors of the device.
Learn more from Dartmouth Engineering News.