AUCKLAND, New Zealand--(BUSINESS WIRE)--I Measure U announced today the introduction of its long-anticipated device, which fuses cutting-edge sensor technology with physics-based computational models to provide runners with actionable, real-time information to reduce the risk of injury. The small, wearable inertial measurement unit device, which is being launched on Indiegogo here, is a major step towards limiting repetitive overuse injuries, which affect up to 75% of runners annually.
Co-founded by Mark Finch, an Olympic trained athlete-turned-inventor with a Masters in Biomedical Engineering, the company aims to make its device available to runners worldwide through the crowdfunding campaign which will sponsor production of the wearable component and finalize development of an app for iPhone and Android.
“Monitoring tibial impact during exercise will help identify specific segments of the run that correspond to high loads – possibly due to terrain and grade changes, muscle fatigue, or changes in a runner’s technique,” Mr. Finch said. “Obtaining a cumulative measurement of load can indicate to the runner if musculoskeletal tissue is at risk of fatigue damage, and whether they have received enough load to maintain tissue health over a longer time frame.”
“If a device can indeed assist the runner, in real-time, to be able to soften their foot strikes it should go a long way in reducing injury risk.” said Dr. Irene Davis, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Spaulding National Running Center. “These types of devices have remarkable potential to assist runners in changing their mechanics, by providing real-time feedback that they can respond to, whether regarding alignment or loading, in order to significantly reduce their risk for injury.”
After an automobile accident ended his dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer, Finch became interested in the science of injury prevention and spent six years developing the technology behind I Measure U at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. The company’s journey began when he attended an entrepreneurial program at Stanford University in 2010 and met co-founder Dr Thor Besier, who was Director of Research at Stanford’s Human Performance Lab and Assistant Professor in Orthopaedics. Mr. Finch then worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, honing his sensor development knowledge and vision for I Measure U - to develop wearable technology to accurately capture body movement. Dr Besier returned home to New Zealand in 2011 and I Measure U was born.
“We have been continually amazed by IMU's deep technical and biomechanical expertise, and the incredible things their technology can do,” said Dr. Nick Arcolano, Senior Data Scientist at RunKeeper. “We're thrilled that they have launched a Indiegogo to help more people around the world prevent running-related injuries and are eager to see their technology get to market.”
The inertial measurement unit device, worn around the ankle, measures tibial impacts that can be sent wirelessly to a mobile device or stored for post run analysis. As a run progresses, the biomechanical algorithm provides the runner with a “Load Score,” taking into account bone mechanics, how bone and tissue recover, and tolerable amounts of load being transferred to the knee. Runners are simultaneously given real-time audio notifications nudging them to adjust their stride or terrain, and are informed if the change has had an effect. The pioneering experts in the field of biomechanics continue to collaborate with the Australian Institute of Sport and Spaulding National Running Center at Harvard University.