The SmartWheel is a computerized wheel that is placed on a client’s wheelchair during an assessment. While the user completes a specified pushing protocol, the SmartWheel collects data about how the user pushes, and sends that information wirelessly to a computer software program for analysis.
The data collected allows the clinical team to examine how much force the user applies to the wheels, how smoothly they push the chair, and how many times they push on the wheels to go a specific distance. The data can then be compared to a data base of adult normative values which indicates if the user is pushing the chair efficiently. If not, adjustments can be made to the wheelchair set-up, a different type of wheelchair can be tried, or the user can be trained in more efficient propulsion techniques.
After changes are made, the SmartWheel collects data again and compares it to the original measures to see if improvement occurs. This information guides therapists and clients in choosing the most appropriate wheelchair and specifying critical features and propulsion techniques to optimize that person’s efficiency. By providing this type of state of the art wheelchair assessment and training services we can reduce or prevent upper extremity pain and dysfunction in manual wheelchair users and ultimately increase their longevity of chair use and continued participation in meaningful life activities.
See SmartWheel Brochure (jpg)