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SmartHub Wheelchair Fitness Tracker

Medical Devices
Rehabilitation / Assistive Devices
College of Engineering (COE)
Metzler, Sandra
DiGiovine, Carmen
Eakins, Kyle
Mubaslat, Jad
Nishio, Lee
Shaffer, Sarah
Licensing Manager
Hong, Dongsung

T2015-257 The SmartHub is a personal fitness and activity tracking device designed for manual wheelchair users.

The Need

Fitness tracking technology has boomed in recent years. However, none of the technology that has been sold has been useable by those in wheelchairs. Either these devices rely on total body movement or the algorithms are not adapted for movement in a wheelchair instead of by walking upright. Many people who are confined to wheelchairs still take part in an active lifestyle or sports and are interested in fitness. In addition, there is currently no way for wheelchair users to collect data on their own that could help diagnose upper extremity pain or injury.

The Technology

Dr. Digiovine, Dr. Metzler and their team of engineering students at The Ohio State University built a device that can track fitness metrics for wheelchair users (e.g. average push force, average push frequency, distance traveled, average velocity, and strokes per day), without having to replace any existing equipment on the wheelchair and without any outside assistance. This device is attached to existing wheelchairs and is less than 1% of a wheelchair's weight. It does not require a medical professional to read, unlike its competitor, and it has a web-based user interface which easily shows recorded data and can be sorted in a variety of ways.

Commercial Applications

  • Fitness Trackers
  • Wheelchair Accessories

Benefits/ Advantages

  • Can be used outside of a clinical setting
  • Suitable for personal fitness monitoring
  • Cost effective
  • Lightweight
  • Simple installation
  • User-friendly interface