BME100 s2018:Group9 W0800 L1

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Team 9

Name: Your name
Name: Zoey Wirtes
Name: Tyler Thompson
Name: Anna Avila
Name: Taylor Dinubilo
Name: Your name

LAB 1 WRITE-UP

Health Care Issue

Immobility
Alzheimer’s and Obesity are the two leading diseases that require people to use wheelchairs and walkers in everyday activities. Obesity is the leading cause of death in America as of 2017. Essentially, obesity is the excess body fat around the organs in a person. Obesity is a preventable disease that causes other health issues such as blood pressure, blood vessel damage, heart attack or heart failure and many other complications. People who are obese may require a wheelchair that is a bit more compact and durable to hold their weight. Dementia is an incurable diseases that causes memory loss and confusion. Patients with dementia will require a wheelchair for comfort and relief. Dementia and Obesity may be leading needs for wheelchairs, although, falls are one of the leading causes of death in America. Mainly caused by turning or getting up from a chair. With this convertible wheelchair elders will be able to prop themselves up comfortably and safely. The wheelchair will provide easy access to a walker with the proper adjustments to ensure sharper movements. This convertible wheelchair will give patients the desire to sit or stand when ever necessary. This wheelchair is made to be convenient to those who wish to adjust from sitting to walking in a matter of a few steps in order to take part in everyday tasks.

Impact on Society
The World Health Organization states that personal mobility “is a precondition for enjoying human rights and living in dignity,” and so devices like the wheelchair undoubtedly improve the quality of life for many people living with disabilities. They even included that, “for many people, an appropriate, well-designed and well-fitted wheelchair can be the first step towards inclusion and participation in society.”

Customer Validation

The Summit at Sunland Springs (Tempe, AZ)
Medtronic (Tempe, AZ)
Stryker (Tempe, AZ)
Walgreens
Walmart
CVS
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
Mayo Clinic
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Chiropractic USA
Hospice of the Valley
Valley Medical Supplies
Medmart
Just Walkers
Clearview Treatment
Shepard Center
Moss Rehab
AZ Med Equip
Karmen Healthcare
Biogen

Competitors

Current Solutions
Wheelchair - a chair fitted with wheels used as a means of transportation for someone unable to walk due to an illness, injury or disability.

Walker - a frame used by someone physically disabled for support while walking. Typically includes metal tubing, and small wheels with rubber tipped feet for traction and grip.

Physical Therapy - the treatment of an injury by physical methods such as heat treatment and exercise without the use of drugs or surgery.

Advantages:
Wheelchair: Comes in a variety of weights and configurations, and can be used for certain activities, such as sports recreation. Manual wheelchairs do not need charging, and are relatively cost effective. They require little to no maintenance. Since they are manual, the user is still able to complete some level of physical activity throughout the day. Folds up easily for storage; does not have to be taken apart.

Walker: Allows the user to walk with greater speed. Usually foldable for easy storage and transport. Has handles for support for user to hold onto, and also includes rubber gripping or pegs on the legs which provide traction allowing the user to maintain a standing/walking position.

Physical Therapy: Can help to maximize the users’ movement. Also allows the user to avoid opioids and surgery related to falling related injuries.

Disadvantages:
Wheelchair: People who are physically disabled could feel uncomfortable. If the patient is unable to wheel themselves, someone would need to be around constantly to move them. The wheelchair will not have many different options for size, making it hard or nearly impossible to fit into the wheelchair. The extra parts of the wheelchair puts more weight into it; which contributes to less amount of moving capacity for the patient; adjusting wheelchairs requires bolts, screws and extra weight in general. If the wheelchair was welded together, there would not be much room to change it. Alternating between a wheelchair and a walker could be tough for some elderly people or patients who are physically incapable of folding the wheelchair. Although, the wheelchair would be able to fold, it would still take up a significant amount of room.

Walker: Creates bad postures and walking habits along with a slow and awkward gait. Walkers are not safe to use when walking up stairs or steep hills. Walkers with wheels can be dangerous to use because of instability of not used properly. The device requires balance and a substantial amount of strength to maneuver. Awkward gaits make the wheelchair more challenging to help reciprocal movements in the patient.

Why Our Device?

One aspect about our design that allows it to skyrocket over the current competitors is that it combines two current solutions into one. A design that incorporates both the functionalities of a wheelchair and a walker will pave the way for improvement in the lives of many and also heavily impact the medical field. Our design will include the capabilities of a wheelchair while also allowing the user to have the option of walker abilities on the device as well. This will help both users and providers in many ways. For the user, there will no longer be a need to carry, purchase, or store a walker and wheelchair separately. It will allow the user greater ease transferring from wheelchair to walker, rather than the discomfort or difficulty associated with transitioning to and from currently. For the provider, it will cut down costs, allowing both necessary devices to be purchased for less while also allowing room for storage since the wheelchair would include a walker as well.

IP Position

A few patents exist for motorized wheelchair-walker combinations, but their designs are for a powered mobility aid, not a manual device where the user needs to self-propel. Additionally, their inventions are a combination of the powered wheelchair and the powered walker, which differs from our device’s design. Our team’s wheelchair-walker will be a cross between a manual wheelchair and a manual walker, with space-conscientious foldability.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5778996A/en?q=wheelchair&q=walker&oq=wheelchair+with+walker
US5778996A, Combination power wheelchair and walker, 1995-11-01.
This particular wheelchair-walker combination patent provides a powered approach to the issue of disabled mobility in users.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US6378883B1/en?q=wheelchair&q=walker&oq=wheelchair+walker
US6378883B1, Motorized walker/wheelchair and method, 2000-01-11.
This wheelchair/walker patent makes use of the A-frame design.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US3213957A/en?q=wheelchair&q=walker&oq=wheelchair+walker
US3213957A, Self-propelled wheelchair, 1962-08-27
This wheelchair patent is able to self-propel.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4907794A/en?q=wheelchair&q=walker&oq=wheelchair+walker
US4907794A, Foldable rolling walker, 1987-12-24
This patent is for a foldable rolling walker.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5058912A/en?q=wheelchair&q=walker&oq=wheelchair+walker
US5058912A, Combination chair/walker, 1990-08-17
This wheelchair/walker patent is more of a walker with an optional chair than a wheelchair/walker duo.

Fundability Score

a. Customer Validation: 2
b. Market Size: 1
c. Competition: 1
d. IP Position: 2
e. Technical Feasibility: 2
f. Regulatory Pathway: 1
g. Clinical Feasibility: 2
h. Reimbursement: 1

Citations

“Aging & Health A to Z.” Health in Aging, www.healthinaging.org/aging-and-health-a-to-z/topic:falls/info:care-and-treatment/.

Brett Sears, PT | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD. “Which Walker is Right for Your Condition?” Verywell, www.verywell.com/choosing-and-using-walkers-in-physical-therapy-2696057.

“Manual Wheelchairs.” SpinLife.com - Experts in wheelchairs, mobility scooters, lift chairs, and more, www.spinlife.com/en/advantagesofmanualwheelchairs2.cfm.

“My Clinical Collections.” MoveForward, www.moveforwardpt.com/Benefits/Default.aspx.

“The Pros and Cons Of The Different Types of Manual Wheelchairs.” Free Articles, Free Web Content, Reprint Articles, www.articlesfactory.com/articles/health/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-different-types-of-manual-wheelchairs.html.

“Transport Wheelchairs: Advantages and Disadvantages.” Graying With Grace, 21 Jan. 2018, www.grayingwithgrace.com/transport-wheelchairs-advantages-disadvantages/.

“WALKERS - ACTIVE CARE PHYSIOTHERAPY CLINIC.” Google Sites, sites.google.com/site/activecarephysiotherapyclinic/walkers.


https://sites.google.com/site/activecarephysiotherapyclinic/walkers


https://www.karmanhealthcare.com/medical-health-issues/