• The Situation

    Active-Passive Trainers (APTs) are physiotherapy devices that provide benefit to a wide variety of patients including those recovering from a stroke, joint replacements, arthritis and more. Many lower-limb APTs use a cycling motion to exercise the legs, providing a combination of passive training (where the machine drives the user) and active training (where the user drives the machine). The APT allows seamless transition between active and passive modes facilitating gradual rehabilitation at every level of ability.

    Currently APTs cost upwards of £1200, and are heavy duty machines designed for hospitals and health centres. We have identified that there is a strong need to make APTs accessible for physiotherapy and rehabilitation in the community. Our work aims to create a frugal APT suitable for the community, opening access to more people who could benefit from using them. A frugal APT could also impact on reducing the time for post operative patients waiting to access the rehabilitation gyms in hospitals and enable them to receive APT therapy on the ward.

  • Our Path Forward

    Despite having identified a need for a low-cost consumer focussed APT device that is genuinely active and passive, a single manufacturer holds all the patents for active/passive technology. Unfortunately this means that we are disincentivised to carry on development in this area. However there is good news beyond the horizon as the patents will soon expire, this will drive costs down and make APTs more accessible for everyone.

  • "If APTs were easy to purchase, but still expensive enough to make it feel like an investment, I bet that would definitely act as a motivator for people to do more exercises"

    Candice, Brain injury patient