Finally! An activity tracker designed for wheelchair users by wheelchair users. For the first time, wheelers can identify the connection between their routine and unique risk factors.
Moms Make it Happen for their Kids with Disabilities
Ten years ago Evander Conroy was born in Sydney Australia, with a tumour pressing on his spine that left him paralysed. Like parents all around the world, his mom, Clare, refused to let current medical and technical limitations dictate the abilities and opportunities for her child.
From age 3, Clare flew her family from Down Under to Frazier Rehab in Louisville Kentucky once a year to meet with Dr. Behrman and her remarkable team. For a few months each year, Evander would join daily intensive activity-based therapy sessions. Remarkable gains were made in his core strength.
However, Evander still manages scoliosis, has been hospitalised numerous times, and has recurring pressure injuries. Clare turned to her sister Kath, who worked at Yahoo! creating software products to find a way to track his functional progress and better understand his body. They tried other activity and posture trackers out there but, when nothing met the needs of wheelchair users, they built it!
loop+ Tracks Positioning so Wheelers Can Identify Red Flags
loop+ is a sensor pad that fits under the cushion of the wheelchair to continuously track seated position, pressure and body movement effortlessly in the background as riders go about their day. It connects to a mobile app that shows you how your pressure is distributed in real time as well a summary of your activity each day.
"One of our doctors who uses loop+ called it the Fitbit for your butt. We like that," shares Kath.
"The terrific thing is, that as long as loop+ is charged, it's recording data about seating habits constantly," she says. "You can go back even months before and replay how you were sitting on that day. No other activity tracker does that!"
This helps families feel confident in the continuity of their child's care when they are not around. "loop+ provides a real time guide for the most appropriate positioning for that person. Everything is personalised," Kath continues.
Like Evander, Alyssa's daughter Raelyn has a spinal cord injury. "One of my biggest fears is that 100% of kids that have a spinal injury that young will need corrective surgery for their spine and that terrifies me. loop+ has been really helpful because I can physically show my daughter [leaning to the right], she doesn't even realise she's doing it. But when she can actually see it, she doesn't argue about it."
Alyssa felt so strongly about the sisters' mission to give everyday visibility of seating habits that she joined the team to support the success of many more families using loop+ in America.
App Alerts Caregivers for Children Who Can't Speak
The everyday visibility isn't limited to those with a spinal cord injury. "It is heartbreaking to hear parents share with us that they don't know when their non-verbal child with cerebral palsy or Rett syndrome is uncomfortable or in pain until they cry. This is very distressing for parents," Kath says.
Kristie, who bought loop+ for her daughter Avalon who has cerebral palsy, shared her impressions of the product. "Having spent the last 10 years with children who can't even tell you they have an itchy foot, let alone back pain, because they're not sitting correctly, I think it's just everything in the world. It's almost like a voice for them. And an understanding for the carers and the parents. Honestly, hats off. It's amazing."
For adult wheelchair users it's about taking charge of their own health and having the evidence to show clinicians what is going on with their body.
"While recovering from an acute pressure issue, I found the device great for regularly checking my pressure situation and making adjustments. loop+ showed me just how long I was sitting still in my wheelchair each day. Based on this information I changed my routine to get out of chair on days when I had back-to-back meetings."
"It's reassuring to know that it's there and collecting data about my daily behaviours that I can review and check to see that my pressure situation is still going ok."
Abilities Expo New York Metro is the first time loop+ will be available for purchase in the US. "The Abilities.com community is one we have been a part of online all the way from Australia. We can't wait to finally participate in person and showcase all the benefits of loop+ to enable wheelchair users to take charge of their health!"
Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!
You can visit Kath to see loop+ in action at booth #346. For more information about this innovation and to order loop+ visit the website www.loopplus.com.