To combat the difficulty many wheelchair users have in staving off pressure sores resulting from long periods of sustained sitting, the Smart Cushion will consist of air cell quadrants that will respond to variations in the user’s positioning by equalizing pressure across contact areas and actively changing pressures to alleviate long periods of stagnant pressures on the body.

Introduction

The main objective of the study was to make sure that he “hot spot” that the patient was currently experiencing was always moving and therefore would not have enough time to generate a sore.  The experiment would have the user sit on the cushion while it went through all 6 phases of its cycle.  Should the hot spot move to different locations during this period then the test could be considered a success.  

Methodology

The study utilized 3 users who were all of varying weights and builds.  Each user sat as square as possible on the cushion.  The cushion was then turned on and allowed to go through all of the six phases as the pressure mat displayed the data.  The areas with the most pressure would show up red on the screen while the areas with only light pressures were green or yellow.

The following link is a quick video of the cushion going through the 6 phases, it also shows the user sitting on an average chair and then on a flat surface.

Cushion Pressure Slideshow

Results

From the results that we gathered the hot spot was moving though not to six different locations as hoped.  There were about 3 different dominant locations that it moved between.  This shows that the cushion is in fact doing what it is meant to do but not as efficiently as we were hoping it would perform.