Sensimat: Intelligent Wheelchair Pressure Management

Faye Prior | 2014-05-25 07:07:44

Pressure management is an important consideration when using a wheelchair, with recommendations that weight is shifted every 10-15 minutes. The ability for the brain to signal for movement in a chair when you’re uncomfortable may be lost, and if seat pressure isn’t relived it can lead to  pressure ulcers.

This is where the Sensimat comes in. It’s a discreet and wireless pressure sensor placed underneath a wheelchair cushion, and connects to a smart phone app for pressure monitoring.

Sensimat tracks seating position, and alerts via your phone to shift position when necessary. Using algorithms it can detect how you have moved, for example leaning left, and it logs this and time stamps it, waiting to alert you again.

You can look back at the app to analyse trends in pressure, habits, and symptoms of discomfort during the day, and share these with your health care professional to manage your pain prevention regimen.

Sensimat has been trialled with various wheelchair athletes, wheelchair users, rehabilitation facilities, and spinal cord injury facilities. It allows therapists to view seating patterns, but also allows individuals to be pro-active in their pressure management, preventing ulcers and improving rehabilitation and health.

Available later in the year, Sensimat will retail from around £190.

Faye Prior (Researcher)