Identifying creative solutions to improve quality of life

As a physical therapist, Eric saw many elderly patients who were injured in a fall. The accidents could usually be traced to an underlying balance issue, which made Eric curious: What could be done to fix these foundational problems?

Eric came to the School of Public Health in 2008. Through collaboration with experienced faculty and access to resources through his doctoral program, he co-invented TreadSense, a specialized treadmill that helps clients improve balance while in motion. Currently, most rehabilitation technologies focus on improving balance while standing, which is not as effective. The systems that do mirror TreadSense’s technology are extremely costly and may not be affordable for many hospitals and retirement homes.

“We saw a need there,” Eric says. So he and his colleagues met that need.

Eric is continuing his work as a physical therapist part-time at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital while he pursues his doctoral degree. The hospital's Silver Spring clinic is the first facility in the nation to use the treadmill, and Eric's research and efforts with TreadSense have been profiled by Terp Magazine and local radio news station WTOP.

Published April 21, 2014