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Affordable Modular Pressure Relief Seat Cushions

Pressure relief seat cushionAPT Center Investigators are developing a low-tech, high-performance product they hope will help prevent pressure ulcers for the more than 25,000 veterans with spinal cord injuries, and for all others in the U.S. and worldwide who are long-term wheelchair users.

The product is a seat cushion. The basic idea is not new – there are "high- performance" models already on the market. The APT Center innovation lies in the common and inexpensive materials used and simplicity of design that could make maintenance and customization quick and easy, ultimately saving significant time and money.

The up-front cost should be low due to the cushion materials, and ongoing costs should be reduced because the design is modular – so that if one part fails, it can be replaced without having to throw out the whole cushion. The annual cost of the new cushion is expected to be around $57 per year, compared to $128 for existing commercial products. Preliminary analysis suggests that a customer could entirely replace every component of the proposed cushion several times and still have a more cost-effective solution than anything else on the market.

APT Investigators are currently testing the cushions with a machine that creates heat and water vapor while applying pressure, mimicking the sweat and temperature that the cushions will endure under real world conditions.

Principal Investigator: Kath Bogie, DPhil
Clinical Collaborator: Steve Mitchell, OTR/L, ATP
Funding Agency: Veterans’ Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development

 

Advanced Platform Technology Center