Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs are inventing medical devices that have strong potential for widespread use. The technologies, including this walker, are available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Walkers, comprising light-weight tubular frames which form pairs of opposed legs joined in parallel spaced relation are in widespread use to assist those in need of support to better maintain stability and balance while walking or standing. A user stands between the leg pairs and grips the tubular frame, placing weight on the legs while standing or pushing the walker while walking. Conventional walkers are suited for traversing level ground and have legs of substantially equal length. However, when climbing stairs, a curb or an incline such walkers cannot provide reliable support to the user, who is thus vulnerable to injury from a fall due to loss of balance.
The VA has designed and built a walker that adjusts to a variable stair or curb height at the direction of the user. A cable and pulley system, completely enclosed within the tubular frame is actuated by thumb lever and controls the telescoping legs. A prototype has been extensively tested.
- Adjustable to any practical height and not locked into pre-set increments
- Provides a safer means for traversing stairs, curbs and inclines
- Businesses can commercialize this technology by licensing international patent application WO2019023128
- Licensing fees paid to the VA are negotiable
- TechLink navigates businesses through licensing at no charge