A $5 million dollar grant was awarded to researchers at Pittsburgh university which helps them in their research in continuing to further develop wheelchair safety and wheelchair standards in the industry. Since wheelchairs are breaking down 50 percent of the time it is a growing problem and the goal is to reduce this percentage and one day have it not exist.
Their is many parts of the wheelchair that can be improved overall but the researchers at University of Pittsburgh are going to focus first on cushion load-bearing performance, cushion durability, caster durability, and wheel rolling resistance. This is what the first few years of the grant will be spent on primarily. The rest of the years left of the grant will be spent on different products but apply the same standards.
The current standards of wheelchairs in present time are influenced by current product manufactures the researchers have said. "Awarding this grant will let there be unbiassed participation," said David Brienza, a professor and associate dean at the University of Pittsburgh. Researchers hope to use the grant in several ways which include helping fund sources make reimbursement choices, clinicians, and for users and providers to make product decisions.