Development of Dynamic Structures for Postural Support
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of this investigation is to create a practical dynamic structure for maintaining beneficial postural positioning and for supporting the body mass of non-ambulatory individuals with weakened skeletal muscular systems. Principal to this objective is the aim to provide the individual user greater freedom of motion than is currently available through comparable postural support systems. Incorporating an integrated design of encased flexible elastic members this self-righting structure will provide the user with both vertical support and lateral stability. Easily attached to existing mobility systems, this unobtrusive support system will help to maintain beneficial posture while allowing a wide degree of forward and back, side to side and radial thoracic movement within the seated position. Anticipating that the dynamic nature of the structure will help to relieve the fatigue and stress associated with wheelchair use, the individual user will hopefully be afforded increased mobility and functionality while preserving the protective benefits of more restrictive systems.
Phase one will include the development of an adult sized working prototype, a limited production of secondary prototypes and the initiation of preliminary clinical testing. Once a preferred design is established in the larger scale, it will be reproduced in three gradient smaller versions relating to the sizes of the children selected to assist in the clinical testing. In the clinical evaluation the emphasis will be upon developing effective quantitative methods for determining performance benefits and comfort issues in comparison to existing support systems.
In Phase two a similar structure will be adapted to support and to stabilize the body mass of a standing individual. Intended for use in a therapeutic environment, this structure will afford the user, hands free, thoracic support while allowing for centralized shifting of body weight within standing and walking exercises. The secondary aim of the investigation will be to explore other potential applications for this support structure including upright mobility, equine therapy, long term seating and recreational uses.
The primary goals of this development are: 1, to foster greater independence among individual users while providing the numerous health benefits of maintaining proper postural support and 2, to enrich and broaden the general life experience of children with weakened skeletal muscular systems.
Small Business Information at Submission:
TOM NEWBY DESIGN, INC.
TOM NEWBY DESIGN, INC. 37 PAXON DR, PENARTH WILMINGTON, DE 19803
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