Tamara Reid Bush receives NSF innovation award of over a half million dollars on research associated with a new wheelchair

This research will yield an innovative new wheelchair system designed to prevent pressure injuries. This is a novel, multi-segmented actuator-driven wheelchair system that is capable of new motions not possible with commercially available wheelchairs. Bush and her team have demonstrated results through a laboratory-based prototype and with this funding will advance the research to serve several populations of chair users.  Additional work will include automation and an appropriate user interface developed with in-depth user testing. The integration of multi-sensor feedback with an articulating algorithm will enable automatic adjustment of the positions based on sensor output, thus creating an optimal personalized protocol for the user. Off-loading pressure on high risk areas facilitates increased blood perfusion and decreased tissue stresses, directly addressing risk factors associated with pressure injury formation.

Bush and her team are partnering with Brian Sheridan, founder of several rehabilitation clinics and medical equipment companies to advance this translational research and its technology to users.

Funded through Partnerships for Innovation at NSF