Wheelchairs are Heavy; Don’t Hurt Your Back!
- entrepreneurs, health care, health care innovations, Hope College, innovations, LoadMate, spectrum health, spectrum health innovations, students, technology, wheelchairs
Joseph Ross, Physical Therapist, Spectrum Health Center for Acute Rehabilitation, had an idea on how to make loading a wheelchair into an automobile trunk easier. He talked with Scott Daigger, manager, innovation and entrepreneurship, Spectrum Health Innovations. He explained how he had created the idea for a patient’s mother who was in her 60s and struggling with loading her wheelchair into her car. “I stayed after work that day and experimented with a crutch, using it as a lever,” Ross says. He demonstrated the maneuver to Daigger. He lifted the chair using the crutch into the trunk with much less effort than expected.
“It was amazing when I had Joe show me his idea,” Daigger says. “However, the crutch wasn’t the optimal tool to use. We decided to work with Hope College’s Center for Faithful Leadership and their student team to design a better, more convenient lever.”