OptiFit Wheelchair Fitting System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43HD047071-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: HD047071
Amount: $203,979.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2005-2
Small Business Information
2240 Meridian Blvd. Suite C, P.O Box 69, Minden, NV, 89423
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (775) 783-8822
Business Contact
Phone: (775) 783-8822
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There, is a high incidence of overuse injuries among manual wheelchair users. One method to prevent the development or delay the onset of injuries is to reduce the physical demand on the user during wheelchair propulsion. Configuration of the wheelchair can have a significant effect on the effort required to propel the wheelchair; however, the optimal setup required to minimize demand on the user is not known. The goal of this project is to develop the OptiFit system, a clinical tool for determining the optimal wheelchair configuration for a specific user. The wheelchair configuration variables that most influence propulsion ergonomics will be determined through a series of studies involving manual wheelchair users. The primary variables to be investigated include: shoulder-to-hub distance, shoulder-to-hub angle, seat angle, back support angle, back support height, wheel camber, and wheel diameter. Propulsion efficiency will be evaluated with respect to user characteristics, such as arm length, range of shoulder extension, and upper extremity strength. The algorithm for the OptiFit system will be developed based on statistical correlations between subject characteristics and propulsion outcome measures. Use of the OptiFit system in clinical settings will assist rehabilitation professionals in providing wheelchairs that are optimally configured for each user. Maximizing propulsion ergonomics through an optimal wheelchair setup will likely reduce the incidence and severity of overuse injuries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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