Patent Research:

Existing products:

There are a number of patents for related products, such as a many filed by ROHO INC for non automated cushions and related valve assemblies, but the closest patent we found was US5487197, “Pneumatic wheelchair cushion”. This patent describes a system where a pneumatic cushion is pressurized or depressurized to maintain a pressure range within individual cells, along with a control system to set these upper and lower limits.

Our product:

Our product differs from existing products, and specifically from US5487197 in that it expands the idea of having a simple “reactive” system, inflating or deflating to maintain a pressure within a given range, to a more “active” dynamic system, in which a set number of pressure “profiles” are defined and rotated between in set time intervals. Also, the purpose of the device mentioned in this patent is simply to “support” various parts of the lower back, rather than any mention of pressure ulcers, as our device aims to prevent. Indeed, during initial development stages our product resembled the previously mentioned patent fairly closely, but this “reactive” system was abandoned because early tests indicated it would be ineffectual for prevention of pressure sores.

Required Certification:

As the device is intended to be mounted and powered by a wheelchair, it would need to undergo standard certifications required of electrical systems/appliances. Of more specific concern, however, would be the conducting of true clinical trials to ensure the effectiveness of the product before going to market.