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  • Over 3.5 million people use wheelchairs to assist in their mobility. While there is no exact date that reports when wheelchairs were invented, the first wheelchair patent was issued in 1869.  Early versions of wheelchairs were manual. This means that the user needed to turn the wheels with their hands to move around, or someone needed to push them from behind. There have been major advancements in wheelchair technology. These advancements have made it possible for those confined to wheelchairs to have more freedom.

    Some wheelchairs have upgraded wheels that allow for the ability to move across varied terrain. Some are outfitted so that directionality can be controlled by torso movement. Some even come designed for multi-functionality allowing the user to move around from a seated position to transition to a standing position. This allows for the user to increase their circulation and cut down on the strain that comes from remaining in a seated position all the time. Some examples of design concepts can be found here.

    New concepts and designs are dreamed up due to necessity and ingenuity. Someone sees a family member or friend struggling with their current wheelchair and works to design a more functional chair for them. Sometimes, it is just to make it easier for someone else to remain as active as possible.

    While mobility is easier for the user, the insurance carriers are seeing the complexity that has resulted from the new advancements. Custom rehabilitation wheelchairs require advance expertise in the health care technology field, and claims involving paralysis also require advanced expertise. Northwood is a DMEPOS (durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and medical supplies) expert that can assist with medical claims to ensure reduced claim administration time. Their knowledge of current technology along with their years of experience can help minimize the cost and administrative burden for insurance carriers.

    When a claimant sustains an auto no-fault or workers’ compensation claim involving paralysis, Northwood is fully equipped to provide the expertise the claimant and the insurance carrier needs. To inquire about the benefits of partnering with Northwood call us at 1-800-447-9599.

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