As each day passes, technological innovations continue to move forward progressively. When it comes to medical innovations, the latest is a wheelchair which not only rolls while seated but also rises, giving a user the convenience of being in an upright standing position.
Jonathan Annicks was the first one to try out the prototype of this wheelchair. Annicks lost the ability to walk when a stray bullet hit him while he was a walking to his car. Doctors at the Center for Bionic Medicine are the brains behind this innovation and revealed the wheelchair at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab with John Annicks testing it.
The manual standing chair breaks the restriction of a user sitting down the entire time. It’s the first manual wheelchair which allows users to move while in both standing and seated positions. It successfully gives the user more area to work with and also gives them the ability to look people eye to eye during interactions.
Simple acts like reaching for items on the upper shelf of a cupboard or a refrigerator can prove to be difficult for wheelchair users. Moving around on a level lower than others can also be disheartening at times. For people dependent on wheel chairs this innovation could prove to be a life-changer. It could bring significant functional, physical and psychological benefits for the users.
Users can use the wheelchair’s unique hand driven mechanism to drive the wheels while sitting or standing as per their convenience. The users can also adjust themselves into a position between sitting and standing as per their need of comfort. It is easy to use and functions very efficiently.
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) gave out the grant which made this innovation possible.
The novel design is on the cusp of being ready for the market. The designers are also taking feedback from wheelchair users to further improve their design.
“The Wheelchair is ready to be commercialized and we are currently in talks with potential partners” Dr. Todd Kuiken, who led the research, told Digital Trends. “In the meantime, we’re working to continually refine and improve the quality of the design”
At the pace that this project is moving forward, and the promise that it shows as a commercial success, this product might be up for purchase soon.