Major trends in mobility technology research and development:
Overview of the results of the NSF-WTEC European study
- Author(s): Reinkensmeyer, David J
- Bonato, Paolo
- Boninger, Michael L
- Chan, Leighton
- Cowan, Rachel E
- Fregly, Benjamin J
- Rodgers, Mary M
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-0003-9-22
Abstract Mobility technologies, including wheelchairs, prostheses, joint replacements, assistive devices, and therapeutic exercise equipment help millions of people participate in desired life activities. Yet, these technologies are not yet fully transformative because many desired activities cannot be pursued or are difficult to pursue for the millions of individuals with mobility related impairments. This WTEC study, initiated and funded by the National Science Foundation, was designed to gather information on European innovations and trends in technology that might lead to greater mobility for a wider range of people. What might these transformative technologies be and how might they arise? Based on visits to leading mobility technology research labs in western Europe, the WTEC panel identified eight major trends in mobility technology research. This commentary summarizes these trends, which are then described in detail in companion papers appearing in this special issue.