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New hi-tech elliptical trainer designed for rehab

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
rehabilitation, elliptical trainer, SportsArt Fitness, ICARE

Woodinville, WA - A vast variety of fitness equipment is currently available; however, most equipment is designed to improve physical fitness for people without disabilities. Many American’s have disabilities that require physical therapy and rehabilitation as an important element to their treatments. To address this issue, Sports Art Fitness, a manufacturer of high-end cardio and strength products is introducing ICARE, a high tech elliptical trainer that helps people with disabilities regain fitness and mobility.

On June 26, SportsArt Fitness, announced a partnership with the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln Nebraska to launch national distribution of the hospital’s popular Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical Training System (ICARE). The elliptical trainer helps physically challenged individuals and those with chronic conditions regain or retain their walking ability and levels of physical fitness. The manufacturer claims that its controlled assistive rehabilitation design frees clinicians from hours of strenuous manual manipulation and its price point makes it more accessible to healthcare facilities and their patients than other robotic gait devices.

ICARE is a motorized elliptical trainer for assisted repetitive gait training. Integrated sensors detect the level of assistance an individual needs to advance their legs. The motor reacts accordingly to provide the correct level of support. The addition of ramps, stairs and an unweighting system offer the ability to adapt to the system to a variety of users and environments. Safety straps hold the patient’s foot in place while the automated elliptical helps them move their legs in a walking motion.

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“It takes literally millions of repetitions to retrain muscles to walk,” said Dr. Judith Burnfield PT, PhD, Director of the Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering and the Movement and Neurosciences Center at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. “I believe this device will allow clinicians to see improved patient outcomes and allow facilities to help a greater number of patients at a significantly reduced cost.”

The ICARE system is the brainchild of researchers and clinicians at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. The project was led by Dr. Burnfield. After obtaining a grant from The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the team set out to create an assistive walking system that was highly functional, but also affordable. The goal was to allow more people access to physical fitness devices that can greatly improve their quality of life. During their research, the doctors at Madonna discovered the E872 elliptical trainer by SportsArt Fitness most closely mimicked a natural walking pattern compared to others in the study, making it the most suitable for a gait assistance device.

“We were extremely impressed with the work they are doing at Madonna, providing solutions for people who are struggling with physical limitations without access to the rehabilitation systems that could help them recover,” Ken Carpenter, Director of Sales for SportsArt Fitness said. “When we saw the extensive research and the results, it was very obvious that the ICARE system helps people get back their physical independence and improves their quality of life. Our factory was equally impressed with the concept and a partnership was born. We are very excited about what this product will do for the rehab community around the world.”

The manufacturer notes that the ICARE system is highly price competitive. Other automated gait rehabilitation systems can cost more than triple the price. “Our goal in developing ICARE was to create an affordable training device that individuals with physical disabilities and chronic conditions could use to improve their walking ability and cardiovascular fitness, not only while they were in the hospital, but also as they returned to their communities and homes,” Dr. Burnfield said.

For more information, click on this link or call 800.709.1400 x201.



Anybody have any actual user feedback and results, preferably from an TBI survivor. Thanks