“Smart” wheelchair technology launched

Incubating new products and technologies to enable independence is a key focus of Toronto Rehab’s world-leading rehabilitation research. One new company that got its start at Toronto Rehab is Braze Mobility Inc.

This week Braze Mobility, co-founded by Toronto Rehab scientist Dr. Alex Mihailidis, launched an add-on system that can transform a regular wheelchair into a "smart" wheelchair able to help prevent collisions.

The novel system uses sensors to detect obstacles and provides visual, audio or vibration feedback to drivers. It can be added to any powered or manual wheelchair.

Herman Witlox, a powered wheelchair user who helped to Beta test the obstacle-detection system, called it "a lifesaver" that helps him avoid collisions with people and property that can happen when changing directions or backing up, for example.

Braze Mobility captured first prize at Toronto Rehab Foundation’s POWER PLAY pitch competition this past July. Hosted in partnership with the iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research and AGE-WELL, Canada's Technology and Aging Network, the “Dragons’ Den” style event highlighted and celebrated the extraordinary research and innovation taking place at Toronto Rehab and demonstrated how applying science and innovation can produce healthcare solutions that matter.

Funding for the awards was provided by the Deloitte Innovation Fund and the Love Commercialization Assistance Program to provide research seed funding to help Toronto Rehab innovators achieve their commercialization goals.

Toronto Rehab is home to the number one rehabilitation research centre in the world and is truly Where Incredible Happens. To ensure that the best proven rehabilitation research, technology and care are available to our patients and the community now and in the future, Toronto Rehab has launched a historic $100-million fundraising campaign. Learn more

In Photo (UHN): Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, CEO of Braze Mobility Inc., displays obstacle-detection sensors that can transform a regular wheelchair into a “smart” wheelchair.