Fort Worth-based startup RPM2 has launched its website and is offering its new athletic training product, which has been on the market to coaches and trainers for 10 months, available for retail sale to the public. RPM2 (Remote Performance Measurement/Monitoring) is a device that helps athletes and coaches determine bilateral equivalence of the legs by compiling data into easy-to-read dashboard reports sent to the user and coach. Athletes that are bilaterally equivalent are stronger, faster and perform at a higher level.
Bi-Lateral equivalence is where equal force, amount, or value (range of motion) is applied to limbs offering the same effect, capacity, and function, and the company says RPM2 allows the athlete to maximize performance through measurements of weight distribution and range of motion in a multitude of athletic disciplines, and hence can help the athlete attain bilateral equivalency in aid of better, stronger and faster performance.
The developers recommend that test exercises using the RPM2 system be performed once per week, noting that although test exercises can be performed more or less frequently, one week intervals are ideal to allow for training adjustments to be made in response to measurements provided during test exercise periods. Additionally, this allows time for the adjusted training exercises, performed throughout the week, to take effect on bilateral equivalence that can be displayed after the next sequence of test exercises, and facilitates the continued customization of training, based on measurements provided by the RPM2 system. Also, following these recommendations will allow for the optimal life expectancy of the RPM2 system.
It is recommended that RPM2 inserts be removed from training shoes, and replaced with original or custom insoles during non-testing times. It is also recommended that the RPM2 inserts be placed in the available protective carrying case during non-testing periods.
In a paper entitled “Remote Performance Measurement and Monitoring: RPM2 Device Validation”, published in the Journal of Sport and Human Performance, of which she is co-editor-in-chief, Dr. Kelly A Brooks, Ph.D., CSCS*D, HFS, EPC, an Assistant Professor and Biomechanist at the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Department of Kinesiology and Military Studies describes the RPM2 device as “a state-of-the-art wireless, remote monitoring, pressure sensing device that is used for sports performance enhancement,” that measures several variables of interest to athletes, trainers, and coaches who can use these variables to correct mechanics, promote correct form, and potentially prevent injury, and when injury occurs, possibly speed recovery.
Dr. Brooks observes that RPM2 can measure body weight, pressure distribution and range-of-motion of lower extremities using four pressure transducers and a nine access sensor embedded in a shoe insert. The device offers 3D tracking capabilities, wireless communication, and a secured user interface through Android or iOS smartphone applications.
In her paper, Dr. Brooks says gait analysis is an important component of developing competitive and recreational running performance, but often a last option when analyzing performance, and completed only after injury has taken place. She contends that preventative gait analysis should be a critical component of performance analysis, since it be used to optimize form, efficiency, energy expenditure, and to potentially decrease injury risk (references are provided). “The problem,” she notes, “is that gait analysis requires expertise, expensive equipment, and a large amount of time. This is a matter of great inconvenience for the runner with no visible injury or noticeable problem with technique, and is the main reason gait analysis is often used only to correct injury, and not preventatively.”
Consequently, says Dr. Brooks, gait analysis provides critical detail needed to prevent injury in athletes, potentially prolonging or even saving athletic careers through recognition of improper mechanics during gait analysis, and notes that because forces created during running must be absorbed by the joints, any flaw in running mechanics can cause excessive stress on the joints., so preventing this excessive wear-and-tear is a key element contributing to a long, successful running career.
Ergo; she maintains that Remote Performance Measurement/Monitoring, or RPM2 is a product that can bring gait analysis to runners without the need for expensive, time-consuming laboratory equipment that requires an expert in order to test and analyze, and the product represents breakthrough technology to enhance running performance and potentially prevent injury.
The paper’s disclaimer states that Dr. Kelly Brooks was not compensated to write the Journal of Sport and Human Performance paper, the full text of which is available in PDF format at this link, and no conflict of interest is present. Dr. Brooks completed her doctoral work at The University of Alabama, and as a former college track athlete, she was inspired to research human response to different environmental conditions. She was the first female appointed to environmental laboratory coordinator at the University of Alabama, and went on to teach and research in both Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology at Louisiana Tech University, where she served as Laboratory director and Graduate Coordinator, as well as Louisiana State NSCA director. She is currently in her first year as an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and conducts research on the development of biomechanical and medical devices, and fitness applications. She is also an adjunct instructor at American Public University System (APUS) American Military University, and the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sport and Human Performance.
RPM2 is a subsidiary of MedHab, a TECH Fort Worth client. MedHab’s healthcare technology allows providers to customize physical therapy regimens to meet the individual needs of patients in clinic and remotely. During November 2012, MedHab made a strategic addition to its product line and developed RPM2 for retail sale to athletes and coaches.
There are two products available — RPM2 ($599) and RPM2 Triathlete ($649). A monthly monitoring fee is offered for $20. The initial target market is running and triathlete clubs and coaches, sports performance training facilities and specialty retail running stores.
“RPM2 is pre-set with five range of motion exercises, two “gait” exercises, two “pressure” exercises and one for biking, specifically geared for triathletes or long- distance cyclers,’ says MedHab CEO and inventor Johnny Ross. “These pre-set exercises are designed to provide accurate information and are not intended to serve as exercises to build better performance. That is where coaching comes in.”
Ross has 20 years experience in the health field, including 15 years with Johnson & Johnson. In late 2008, he invented a medical device and received his first patent pending for MedHab’s technology. Today, MedHab has two certified patents and seven pending domestically and internationally. RPM2 Retail Market Manager Keith Hill i received his undergraduate degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise physiology from Western Illinois University and has spent 24 years in healthcare and business professions.
“Coaches are embracing technology as ways to bring more science into coaching and give them more time for the art of coaching,” says Larry Eder, President of Running Network, which is an affiliate partner of MedHab, in a company release. “We encourage all coaches to use RPM2.”
Darlene Ryan, Executive Director of TECH Fort Worth, is cited commenting that “The launch of this product is a huge step forward for MedHab. We’ve been coaching this company since its very beginnings and have watched the strategy as it has unfolded. Kudos to MedHab for all of its hard work!”
The RPM2 application can be downloaded for Android and a download for iOS should be available shortly.
There is also a RPM2 affiliate program that allows websites to link to http://www.RPM2.com and earn commissions on clickthrough sales, as well as an automatic rewards program for individuals with points for discounts and free items earned on RPM2 purchases.
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Images courtesy MedHab RPM2, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Dr. Kelly Brooks