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Towards the development of an effective technology transfer model of wheelchairs to developing countries

Pearlman, J and Cooper, RA and Zipfel, E and Cooper, R and McCartney, M (2006) Towards the development of an effective technology transfer model of wheelchairs to developing countries. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1 (1-2). 103 - 110. ISSN 1748-3107

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Purpose. And estimated 20-100 million wheelchairs are needed in developing countries. Efforts to provide wheelchairs either through donations or by starting small-scale workshops have been made for decades, but estimates suggest that less than 1 million wheelchairs have been provided. We undertook this study to better understand why these efforts have not met the need, and to investigate if other technology transfer models may be successful for wheelchair provision. Methods.We performed a literature review, discussed our own experiences with wheelchair technology transfer, and used our expertise to develop a model for wheelchair technology transfer. Results.Previous efforts have not met the need because: (1) donated wheelchairs were typically inappropriate for the user, and (2) small-scale workshops are not easily scalable for the large-scale production needed. Three additional technology transfer models exist-manufacturing, globalization, and multi-modal-that have not been widely demonstrated or discussed in the literature. Our experience with the manufacturing model suggests that it could potentially provide the large volumes of appropriate wheelchairs needed in certain regions. Lastly, we present a framework comparing the important characteristics of each model: required input, sustainability, appropriateness, and the potential impact. Conclusions.While most efforts to provide wheelchairs to developing countries are helpful, we show that expansion of the manufacturing and globalization model to provide wheelchairs may be necessary if the supply will meet the demand. © 2006 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pearlman, Jjpearlman@pitt.eduJLP460000-0003-0830-9136
Zipfel, E
Cooper, Rcooperrm@pitt.eduCOOPERRM
McCartney, M
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 December 2006
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume: 1
Number: 1-2
Page Range: 103 - 110
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/09638280500167563
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1748-3107
MeSH Headings: Developing Countries; Equipment Design; Health Services Needs and Demand; Humans; Technology Transfer; Wheelchairs
PubMed ID: 19256173
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2012 16:07
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:56


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