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Transitioning a Research Tool Into a Consumer Product: The Wheelchair In-Seat Activity Tracker

[+] Author Affiliations
Stephen Sprigle, Sharon Sonenblum, J. J. O’Brien

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. DMD2019-3211, pp. V001T03A001; 5 pages
  • 2019 Design of Medical Devices Conference
  • 2019 Design of Medical Devices Conference
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, April 15–18, 2019
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4103-7
  • Copyright © 2019 by ASME


Pressure ulcers remain a significant secondary complication for many wheelchair users, having significant adverse impacts on the health, function and independence of wheelchair users. Research suggests that both the magnitude and duration of loading on tissues can lead to tissue necrosis. This motivated research to measure the in-seat movement of wheelchair users as a means to characterize time of loading. During these research activities, the consistent finding was that persons were not adhering to their weight shift regimens as taught during rehabilitation. This served as motivation to develop a consumer product to inform users of their activities. The transition from a research tool to a consumer product is endowed with challenges. This paper describes the technology as well as the activities required to make this transition. Specific design challenges included attention to usability and device engagement and the need for near real-time data management and analysis to inform users of their in-seat movements.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Topics: Wheelchairs



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