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Slow-Doughnut-6535 t1_j3emzkn wrote

I'm in tears after watching. What a absolute awesome human being this man is, and has put his skills to benefit those who are physically challenged....


idontneedjug t1_j3fg8rr wrote

Loved seeing this too. I instantly thought back to watching my mother struggle after hip replacement surgery and wished this had been around back then.

Can tell this will benefit a lot of people.


F8cts0verFeelings t1_j3ftyno wrote

My dad was in the steadicam business when it first started out. He says Garret's always been a helpful guy.


Healthy-Review-7484 t1_j3facoy wrote

I have had this chair in my head for a couple of decades. Started to think about it when Christopher Reece had his accident. Not an engineer so never had the skills to make it happen. So utterly happy that some wonderful human made it happen.


Happy-Ad7440 t1_j3ez961 wrote

Wow! Seems like it should have been invented a long time ago.


InGenAche t1_j3gtb9h wrote

It's very niche. You have to be in a very narrow band of disabilities to be able to get use out of it. For example, lots of people who use rollators can walk unaided for small distances and might find this too cumbersome and a lot of wheelchair users can't use one or more of their legs which this requires.

Don't get me wrong, it is fantastic engineering and will absolutely transform the lives of those who can get benefit from it, but it won't revolutionise the industry.


Capital_Shock_886 t1_j3elsl8 wrote

Finally! Was wondering when wheelchairs would get an update


kgruesch t1_j3fyb53 wrote

It's true, wheelchairs are glacially slow at technological progress. That's how the industry wants it because changing technology means updating billing codes.

I work for a company that makes the only smart sensor system on the market for power wheelchairs (think collision avoidance, curb detection, cloud data connectivity) and we've received nothing but pushback from the two largest industry players in the US. They've bought up and shelved so many innovative products over the past decade because they might upset the apple cart.

What it boils down to is the major players in the industry essentially saying "disabled people don't deserve the best technology we have to offer because we don't make enough money off it," and I want everyone to be as pissed off about that as we are.


Kelzut t1_j3fms7b wrote

I don't think this will entirely replace the standard wheelchair but it's a good alternative for those that have enough control over the legs but are unable to fully support their weight independently. This will work wonders for those with spinal cord injury that still have some function left. Prevents both the muscles from wasting away from disuse and the leftover spinal networks from learning "bad" behavior patterns. Wonder what the cost of one of these is though, looks pricier than a wheelchair. Until they get insurance companies to pay for this instead of a wheelchair or walker, it probably won't be mainstream.


MrSpiffenhimer t1_j3fqhkn wrote

They said he’d only made 100, so I’m guessing they’re nowhere near where an insurance company would even start to evaluate it. An insurance company won’t bother evaluating it for coverage if there’s only a few dozen even available, it’s not worth the costs. Besides the fact that there are dozens of health insurers in the US that would all need to evaluate it, the numbers aren’t there, yet. He’d need to ramp up production significantly before that could happen. I could see this being picked up, at significant cost, by spinal cord injury rehab facilities like Madonna and QLI for internal use, which could lead to significant demand to help fund a boost in production to get to the critical mass for insurance coverage.


AmeriToast t1_j3f1njj wrote

This is cool. Hopefully it becomes mainstream


Mary_Pick_A_Ford t1_j3fate5 wrote

This looks like a great wheelchair but I want to remind everyone that not everybody has the ability to move their legs and get up easily like this guy. They need to test this on people who rely on wheelchairs and walkers and not people who don't need them. My mom suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and had legs that were pretty useless towards the end, this probably wouldn't have been a good fit for her but perhaps during the earlier stages of her MS, she would have loved it.


MrSpiffenhimer t1_j3fpx60 wrote

Calling it a wheelchair is a mistake, I’m guessing made by the journalist. The inventor said that he wanted to position it somewhere between a walker and a wheelchair. It’s a mobility assistance device, like a cane, walker or wheelchair, but something new. It looks like a far more supportive and adaptable rollator (Walker with seat). One that can keep people upright and almost walking longer than a standard walker or rollator can, depending on their condition and abilities.


ThinknBoutStuff t1_j3fw736 wrote

I'd encourage you to dig deeper, they have lots of videos on the website with lots of different people of various conditions using the product (including someone with 1 leg).

Plenty of people out there are on the edge of walker/wheelchair that could benefit. As you suggest, everyone's medical history and capacities are different. But not sure where the "need to test this on people who rely on wheelchairs and walkers and not people who don't need them" comes from. Pretty clear that's happened.


Tetrylene t1_j3f7ws2 wrote

That’s really great


FreshTongue t1_j3ft7mz wrote

The hero we don't deserve, but the one that we need


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pickleer t1_j3fcelu wrote

Sweet, now everyone can see where I can't go!!