A deconstructed view showing the first manufactured prototype of our wheelchair hand warmer. Pictured ready for use on wheel chair lab tray with insulating attachment sleeve.

Hand Warmer for power wheelchair users: Increasing mobility for people with muscular dystrophy

University of Manitoba

Natasha Geddert, Dayle Anderson, Walid Ayyache, Krista Bergen, Laurissa Bridgeman, Lyle Cabutage, Kristofer Isaak, Patrick Sarmieno, Arlo Reichert

Many cases of muscular dystrophy require patients to utilize motorized wheelchairs. Despite such a useful technology, patients can have a difficult time using the toggle to move the chair due to a lack of oxygenation in the muscles from poor circulation. Heating the hand allows for better blood flow and increased ability to control and move the muscles needed to move the chair. This allows a large increase in mobility at standard temperatures, but is even more useful in Manitoba Winters when the temperature can drop to -40 degrees Celsius. Wearing gloves is often not an option because it further inhibits range of motion. Our hand warmer is a convenient, easily adaptable solution. Having an affordable technology that can increase mobility, independence, and quality of life will greatly aid the 2.5% of Manitoba males that have muscular dystrophy.

RESNA Design Brief

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