Wisconsin Company Develops A Better Wheelchair

Rick Barrett | Journal Sentinel | June 5, 2014

A Kenosha [Wisconsin] engineering firm says it has developed a new wheelchair aimed at reducing shoulder and wrist injuries that come from using a regular wheelchair, and that's also faster and better at climbing.  Procubed LLC hopes to begin selling the new wheelchair late this year starting with Veterans Affairs facilities. The company says it's working with physical therapists and veterans at the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., and the Human Engineering and Research Laboratories at University of Pittsburgh.

Nearly 3 million people in the United States use manual wheelchairs for daily mobility. Many of them will experience pain and injury in their shoulders, wrists and hands, according to the National Institutes of Health.  Gripping and pushing the wheels results in repetitive use injuries. With the Procubed wheelchair, the user pushes and pulls large levers in a back-and-forth motion that drives the wheels. It's a more efficient movement that doesn't strain the user like a regular wheelchair does, according to Jim Maerzke, company president...