App Improving Health Outcomes For Wheelchair Users Given $500,000 in Funding
7 December 2018 at 3:07 pm
An innovative sensor app that helps improve health outcomes for wheelchair users will be piloted thanks to a $500,000 funding partnership.
The icare foundation is giving half a million dollars in funding to loop+ for the development of a prototype that will be piloted at a New South Wales hospital’s spinal unit.
The loop+ platform uses a wheelchair sensor mat that continuously measures pressure, position and general activity of users throughout the day.
This data can be accessed by wheelchair users, carers and clinicians through a mobile app to monitor and prevent common health risks such as pressure sores.
Barney Smith is interim GM of the icare foundation, a social venture established by insurance and care provider icare that funds organisations taking a fresh approach to injury prevention.
He said supporting this platform was important, as more than 85 per cent of wheelchair users would develop a pressure injury in their lifetime.
“Icare’s Lifetime Care Scheme currently cares for almost 390 people living with a spinal cord injury, and we’re always looking for new ways to achieve the best possible outcomes for our participants,” Smith said.
“Our goal is to help to accelerate early-stage innovations from prototype into real technologies that will improve quality of life for people living with spinal cord injuries and empower them to take control of their health and return to their communities sooner.”
As well as monitoring health risks, the app also works to promote healthy wheelchair habits and reduce the onset of scoliosis and respiratory issues.
Kath Hamilton, the CEO of loop+, said she was thrilled to partner with the icare foundation to strengthen the foundation’s commitment to improving wheelchair users’ independence and quality of life.
She said the loop+ app aimed to transform the way wheelchair users managed their health.
“The platform aims to assist both clients and allied health professionals to significantly improve the quality of the care provided and manage the risk of health issues,” Hamilton said.
“As a remote care monitoring platform, it translates and tracks care plans into the home, supporting wheelchair users and their families every day.”
The pilot is due to be completed by July 2019.