DEVELOPMENT OF AN ERGONOMIC MANUAL WHEELCHAIR PUSHRIM
Small Business Information
THREE RIVERS HOLDINGS, LLC
10791 E SAN SALVADOR, SCOTTSDALE, AZ, 85285
AbstractDESCRIPTION (Applicant's Abstract): Manual wheelchair users have a high prevalence of repetitive strain injuries (RSJs) of the shoulder and wrist. We designed a new ergonomic pushrim (NEP) that improves the fit of a wheelchair user's hand to the pushrim. The design increases the surface area available for gripping and selectively coats surfaces with high friction materials. The Specific Aims of this project are to: (1) manufacture a new set of light-weight prototype pushrims for use for in-home trials; (2) determine the effectiveness of the NEPs in changing propulsion biomechanics after an extended period of use. Specific aim 1 will be achieved by using good engineering practice as defined by FDA and lab testing for compliance with ANSI/RESNA standards. Specific aim 2 will be achieved through a clinical trial testing the effects of the NEP on propulsion biomechanics both before and after two weeks of use. If the NEPs are found to decrease injurious biomechanics than they have the potential to prevent RSIs in manual wheelchair users. This could lead to savings in health care dollars and improved quality of life. Success in this phase 1 STTR will lead to a phase 2 STTR application and commercial development of the NEPs. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The new ergonomic pushrim (NEP) will be designed to allow retrofitting to existing manual wheelchairs. This opens a large market for the product. During initial testing using a very rough prototype of the NEP, the wheelchair users tested stated they would be interested in obtaining a NEP for personal use. As further evidence of the viability of the product the University of Pittsburgh investigated the NEP's potential and decided to proceed with a patent application.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.