At CTIA in Las Vegas, AT&T and Permobil are showing concept solution that wirelessly connects wheelchairs to increase user independence and freedom. The connected wheelchair concept uses AT&T’s Internet of Things (IoT) technology so that the chair can be monitored for comfort, performance, maintenance requirements and location.
The solution, developed and tested at the AT&T Foundry for IoT innovation, allows users to access data that impacts their everyday life. The data, that can be remotely accessed in the highly secure cloud and shared with caregivers, fleet technicians and clinicians, can be used to improve the users’ health.
The device monitors most key aspects of the wheelchair including:
- Seating Position and Cushion Pressure: Users will know if their ROH* seat cushion pressure is out of range which can lead to life-threatening pressure ulcers. The solution complements Permobil’s Virtual Seating Coach, an app and cloud service that presents seating system information and tracks if users are following recommended seat function regimens.
- Battery Level and Predictive Maintenance Requirements: Manufacturers/Dealers will know when a chair needs to be serviced by remotely accessing error codes. This enables single-trip service visits.
- GPS Location and Fleet Management: Manufacturers/Dealers can quickly and efficiently schedule demos and appointments. Caregivers gain greater peace of mind.
“The connected wheelchair is a great example of how the AT&T Foundry can quickly collaborate with a customer on a proof of concept to bring connectivity and intelligence to a new range of devices,” said Mike Troiano, Vice President AT&T Industrial IoT Solutions. “We’re using innovative technology to solve real-world problems and, in this case, potentially improve quality of life.”
The connected wheelchair uses AT&T IoT technology that includes a Global SIM, AT&T Control Center and developer solutions like M2X and AT&T Flow Designer. It’s an example of how the AT&T Foundry can deliver cutting-edge solutions for customers in a very short amount of time.
For over 45 years, Permobil has led the complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs industry. Permobil products offer people with disabilities the opportunity to lead active, independent lives. The connected wheelchair shows how Permobil strives to develop products that strengthen their users’ ability to control and interact with their surroundings.
“Our ‘Guiding Star,’ when developing any product, comes directly from company founder, Dr. Per Udden, who has stated that every person with a disability has the right to have his or her handicap compensated as far as possible by aids with the same technical standard as those we all use in our everyday lives,” said Olof Hedin, Permobil Chief Information Officer. “Permobil’s collaboration with the AT&T Foundry is the epitome of how to bring today’s technology into the complex rehabilitation arena to benefit users, clinicians and stakeholders.”
AT&T and Permobil will continue to enhance the connected wheelchair concept and add services like access to home controls and remote monitoring to increase user independence and freedom.