Youth - SMARTfit's Best Kept Secret

by Cathi Lamberti SMARTfit

While SMARTfit's focus is turned to supporting its roll-out in rehab, active aging and sports performance training, it has by no means lost its focus on youth where its predecessor's Sportwall and XerGames, have a legacy with over three thousand programs in schools and after-school programs run by YMCA's, city recreation centers and B&G clubs.

The SMARTfit team continues to service and support these systems, some of them now up to seventeen years old and still operating. "We regularly receive calls from school PE teachers or YMCA instructors seeking replacement remote control devices that have worn out." says Julio Martinez, operations manager, who frequently services these systems personally.  "I built them and know everything you need to know about servicing them and we do not turn anyone away regardless of their ability to pay for the service.  It is wonderful to hear how kids continue to enjoy these systems even after we stopped producing them six years ago."

Sportwall/XerGames remains the concept upon which the SMARTfit operating system was built. We learned a lot about what was needed to to create an interactive platform to simulate real multisensory cognitive-motor engagement with the world in a controlled, scalable and measurable way that could be used for treating and developing human cognitive-motor performance for all ages and abilities.

Seven years ago, a few key members of the Sportwall team started from scratch by creating our own proprietary SMARTfit operating system (SMARTfit OS) that was fast enough to match the fastest human motor performance yet also capable of offering up to 128 interactive target screens loaded with content instead of just colored targets.  This has enabled us to create content that can scale all the way to offering spelling and math games while engaging in our cardio, strength, vestibular and motor skills based gamified exercises.

After having spent the last hundred years removing movement from our daily engagement with the world, we consider multisensory training/learning to be a critical need for society today.  With neurological diseases now leading our health crisis, we must deliver a modern option to reversing the damage being caused by this kind of inactivity.

We have front-ended the SMARTfit systems with an easy-to-use user interface based on an App driven off the iOS/Android platforms. This way, any teacher, trainer, therapist or practitioner can customize and access what they want to see from SMARTfit's 600 plus video supported training applications. A teacher can create customized learning programs for each class as easy as a neuro therapist can create a program focused on treating patients with concussion or Parkinson's.  SMARTfit has become a tool for the practitioner to deliver the full spectrum of cognitive-motor exercises, measure and track progress, and print customized reports that, for the first time ever, can measure this aspect of human function.

SMARTfit's understated, yet greatest value, lies in its use of gamification technology which drives both engagement while also making the exercises more 'real and relavant' thus better simulating true multisensory engagement and puts the emphasis on the executive function of the brain to take the lead.  "It is a great retention tool as patients love to see their progress reports.  It's proof that they are getting better and that motivates them to return to complete their treatment program" says Bernie Thomas co-owner of Neubury Park Physical Therapy. "Our patients love SMARTfit because its fun."

SMARTfit is currently testing applications in numerous special education programs in preparation for its roll-out into schools later this year.  As a former teacher, I am so excited and cannot wait to see this happen. My motivation over the years has been to bring movement back into the classroom and we have done it.  We have also managed to create a highly durable classroom option that I know is going to be a winner.