EXCMR is a Technology Commercialization Company founded in 2008 by faculty members of The Ohio State University. The EXCMR “MRI-Compatible Treadmill” is a system designed to be used in a hospital MRI room in conjunction with an ECG Stress Test Protocol to conduct critical stress tests. This required a solution using materials that eliminate magnetic attraction, creation of magnetic fields, and RF interference with the MRI machine.
Current methods require the patient to exercise (increasing heart rate) in a remote location away from the MRI room. Valuable time is lost in transferring the patient from the exercise room to the MRI table, at which point the heart rate decreases below optimal observing conditions. Having a treadmill located directly next to the MRI machine assures a better exam, as the heart rate has less time to fall before the procedure takes place.
MRI scanning a heart under peak stress gives doctors the tools to detect problems earlier than other testing methods.
Zukun Plan provided the mechanical engineering services to create a production version of the first ever hydraulic-driven treadmill and all aluminum chassis and drive-train. A traditional electric motor and steel materials could not be used, since they would cause magnetic interference or even the potential hazard of metal projectiles attracted by the strong magnets of an MRI machine.
Four MRI Treadmills were prototyped and field-tested in hospitals in Ohio, and the rights to production are currently being pursued.