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Transfer Assist Standbar for Manual and Power Wheelchairs

  Laboratory/Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs Technology: Standing assistive device attached to a wheelchair Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed an assistive device for wheelchairs (Standbar) that provides a new application for use in the treatment of patients who may have health or other issues trying to stand up from a mobile wheelchair. It provides users with greater independence and self-sufficiency to perform functional activities, while reducing or eliminating the need for another person or caregiver to be present or assist them. The Standbar is assistive technology that can be attached to any power wheelchair. The device consists of horizontal and vertical sections, for handgrips, that allow for a broader range of options than if only a horizontal grip were provided. The Standbar is designed for unilateral or bilateral installation as well as for quick, one-handed removal from the wheelchair to accommodate transport of the wheelchair without hindrance or impediment. Standardization of the design and dimensions of the Standbar assembly allow it to be fitted to a variety of wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Benefits: As the population in the United States starts to age, the demand for wheelchairs and other assistance-providing mechanisms is increasing. The manual wheelchair market, which had sales of $1.8 billion in 2011, is expected to reach $2.9 billion by 2018. Growth is expected to be a result of vendor achievement of marked improvements in technology that provide patients and caregivers with better wheelchairs. This will enable greater independence and flexibility for persons who may have different kinds of mobility limiting ailments, and result in a market opportunity for the developed Standbar. The unique and innovative features of the Standbar that distinguish it from other parallel bar systems are:
  • The Standbar is mobile because it is attached to an individual's power wheelchair. This feature enables the Standbar to be used anywhere at any time.
  • The Standbar is lightweight and can be deployed by the user, repositioned, or removed with one hand. The Standbar can be positioned and secured as a parallel bar or repositioned as a lap bar for added security when sitting.
  • The Standbar has a traditional horizontal handgrip, but is improved with the addition of a vertical staff handgrip. The vertical grip feature increases the ability of an individual, who presents with weakness or trunk flexor hypertonia, to assume a more upright posture in stance due to a more comfortable and effective hand position.
Opportunity: The VA is looking for a partner for further development and commercialization of this technology through a license, and the VA inventors are available to collaborate with interested companies through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). Contact: Adaku Nwachukwu, MS, JD, VA Technology Transfer Program View the VA's listing.
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