Dr. Jaimie Borisoff and Johanne Mattie of BCIT’s Rehabilitation Engineering Design Lab (REDLab) travelled to Pittsburgh this past week to participate in the 35th International Seating Symposium (ISS), the world’s largest educational conference and exhibition featuring wheelchairs and related assistive technologies.
The Symposium, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology Continuing Education Program, was attended by stakeholders including clinicians, consumers, advocates, researchers, providers, manufacturers, and policymakers from over 30 nations.
“Participating in The International Seating Symposium provided us the opportunity to network with our peers and to see some cool assistive tech from around the world.” said Johanne
The REDLab team gave three presentations including one highlighting their APPLEwalk exercise device. AAPLEwalk is a novel exercise machine, motivated by clinical need and evidence that aims to realize the benefits of AAPLE (Active Arm Passive Leg) machines and standing locomotor therapy in a single device. The REDLab prototype safely raises a user from sitting to a fully supported, upright position on an elliptical-type exercise machine. “APPLEwalking™” consists of rhythmic, arm-driven, walking-like leg patterns, at variable intensities appropriate for cardiovascular exercise. The team received “good feedback from the audience, and some constructive comments that will help us with next stage development” said Johanne of the presentation.
Dr. Jaimie Borisoff is one of BCIT’s three Canada Research Chairs, and his work is focused on developing novel solutions that improve and expand activities of daily living and community participation for people with disabilities through rehabilitation engineering design. Rehabilitation engineering design looks at how people use devices in real life and, based on these observations, designs better versions. For Dr. Borisoff, “Getting a product to market that has impact on people’s lives is a goal of the lab.”