Study: Outdated tech a pain for wheelchair users

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

YARMOUTH, Maine – Nine out of 10 wheelchair users in the US experience pain as a result of their device, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by ComRes for the Toyota Mobility Foundation, polled wheelchair users in five countries. In November, the foundation launched the $4 million Mobility Unlimited Challenge to change the lives of people with lower-limb paralysis with “game-changing” technology.

"This research expresses the urgent need for innovation in this area,” said Julie Ann Burandt, global strategy and communications manager, Toyota Mobility Foundation. “It's surprising that with all of the technology we have today, we still have people in constant pain as a result of their mobility devices. The comments we are receiving through social media show the kinds of developments that people want to see and we hope the Challenge will result in genuinely life-changing technologies."

Feeling pain

According to the study, 50% of users experience back pain at least once a day, 29% experience shoulder pain at least once a day, and 28% say they constantly experience back pain.

Getting around

The study also found that 39% of US wheelchair users report needing assistance travelling to destinations, and 31% have been unable to find an accessible toilet.