Engineering students reinvent the wheel(chair)

Pressure ulcers (or bed sores) are a constant problem for patients who are immobile, such as those who are bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound.  As its name suggests, these ulcers develop when pressure is continually applied to a part of the body due to lack of movement, causing poor blood circulation.  

An invention by students from the Diploma in Computer Engineering, called the “Smart  Wheelchair”, will help to alleviate this problem by inducing the patient to move his or her buttocks or feet as part of a game that is played on a mobile phone.  This promotes blood circulation, thereby preventing the onset of pressure sores.  In addition, temperature sensors on the seat detect the build-up of heat and display it on a heat-map to indicate the areas where pressure sores may potentially develop, while a web portal allows caregivers or doctors to monitor the patient’s progress.

The project received the top prize (Gold award) in the Assistive & Rehabilitation Technologies Student Innovation Challenge (ART-SIC) competition held on 5 Apr 2019. 

The competition aims to provide youths with the opportunity to conceptualise and develop innovative prototypes of a device, product or technology that can improve the quality of life for the elderly and people with disabilities.  It was jointly organised by the Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore, NTU and CGH’S centre for healthcare assistive & robotics technology. 

For more information about the Diploma in Computer Engineering, click here.