A snippet of the article by Liz Beaulieu at HME News:
Braze Mobility had the opportunity to get important feedback on its terrain analysis system as part of the recent Breaking Boundaries: Collaboration Challenge, hosted by the Veterans Health Administration Ecosystem and Founder Institute, says CEO Pooja Viswanathan.
The system will help wheelchair users navigate outdoor environments more safely and independently, using proprietary machine-learning algorithms that identify hazards.
“It’s a co-creation process, so there’ll be various phases of development that we’ll collaborate with them on,” said Viswanathan, who was a featured speaker at the VHA Innovation Experience Oct. 27-28, and who has completed doctoral and post-doc research in robotics and assistive technologies. “There will be early testing of the product and feedback, and then incorporating that feedback into future development.”Read More
TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2021 – The 2021 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners list was
released by Women’s Executive Network along with their sponsors today, recognizing 105 outstanding
women across Canada who advocate for workforce diversity and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.
“When I look at this year’s winners, I see a group of radically authentic women who remind us all of what
it means to stand up with courage, for themselves and those around them,” said Sherri Stevens, Owner
and CEO of WXN. “By recognizing and celebrating the strength, fearlessness, resilience and heart these
women demonstrate, we can inspire more of the same in generations to come.”
The Top 100 Awards span the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, with the winners selected by
WXN’s Diversity Council of Canada.
“KPMG proudly stands with WXN as they champion the development, advancement and recognition of women across Canada,” said Elio Luongo, CEO and Senior Partner, KPMG in Canada. “We celebrate the courageous, authentic women who share their strength and diverse perspectives. Together we can drive positive change and amplify the incredible achievement of women everywhere.” The awards are presented to remarkable women in 13 categories:
MLSE Arts, Sports, and Entertainment
Canada’s Most Powerful CEOs
Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders
CIBC Executive Leaders
RBC Future Launch Future Leaders
Inclusion Vanguard, presented by KPMG
Manulife Science and Technology
CP Skilled Trades
Women of Courage
WXN Hall of Fame
Visit https://wxnetwork.com/page/2021Top100AwardsProgram for event details and tickets.
For a full list of winners, please visit: https://wxnetwork.com/page/2021Top100AwardWinners
It all began on August 26 and 27. The Breaking Boundaries: Collaboration Challenge launched the 2021 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Innovation Experience (iEX) Virtual Series with amazing success. Over 425 participants tuned in over the two days to see 19 external health care innovators, entrepreneurs and start-ups pitch their early-stage solutions for the chance to collaborate with VA, present at the 2021 iEX Marquee Event in October, and most importantly, impact Veteran lives by forging a healthier future.
The competition resulted in 10 companies being selected to join with VHA Innovators Network (iNET) sites to further the design and develop their innovative solutions.
The event, co-hosted by the Founder Institute and VHA Innovation Ecosystem, also included an exciting keynote speaker and energizing fireside chat and panel.
Torrey Smith, CEO, Endiatx, gave an engaging look at how companies can collaborate to move their innovation forward and demonstrated his incredible technology – a camera in a pill that allows doctors to remotely explore a patient’s stomach. Dr. Ryan Vega, chief officer, Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning, spoke candidly with Dr. Carolyn Clancy, VHA deputy under secretary for health for the Office of Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks, about how innovation and collaboration are at the core of everything VA does.
“VA has been breaking boundaries for decades,” said Dr. Clancy. “That includes our 95-year-old research program… to the Innovation Ecosystem. In the past year, this has served us well. VA was way ahead of the curve with telehealth. Breaking boundaries is clearly part of our fabric.”
Allison Amrhein, director of Operations, iNET, followed this up by leading an in-depth panel on how the VHA Innovation Ecosystem is helping VA and outside organizations co-design innovative health care solutions for tomorrow. The panel featured multiple experts, including Ryan Micheletti of Founder Institute, Gina Adams from Wareologie, Dr. Sergio Garcia Vergara of RIF Robotics, and Kathryn Beckner, innovation specialist from the Central Virginia VA Health Care System.
“Collaboration is so important to VA, because just like no patient is the same, no concept is the same. No idea would be fully formed, and no solution fully thought-out without diverse perspectives and collaboration,” said Beckner. “That leads to the best solution for the health care environment and also for the Veteran.”
Braze Mobility Inc. is developing a terrain analysis system to help wheelchair users navigate outdoor environments more safely and independently using their proprietary machine learning algorithms that identify hazards.
Lead Site: VA Palo Alto Health Care System.
Other Sites: Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, VA Western Colorado Health Care System, and Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
Read the rest of the article here.Read More
A snippet from the article written by Andrea Yu at The Globe and Mail:
Dr. Pooja Viswanathan is used to being the only woman in the room. She studied computer science, artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and UBC.
“I think I was probably the only woman getting a PhD in robotics at UBC at the time,” Dr. Viswanathan recalls.
When she transformed the learnings from her PhD dissertation – navigation assistance and sensor technologies for power wheelchair users – into a startup called Braze Mobility Inc., Dr. Viswanathan says the all-male, mostly all-white boardrooms she encountered as she met with potential funders and business partners were no surprise. “If I went into a room that had a lot of women, that would be an anomaly for me,” she says.
Dr. Viswanathan says that she stood out at nearly every conference and industry expo she attended. “I could probably go as far as saying I’m the only female CEO, let alone female CEO of colour in the [complex rehab technology] manufacturing industry,” she says.Read More
A snippet from the article in the AgeTech Solutions Report at The Globe and Mail:
AGE-WELL nurtures startups through funding, competitions, mentorship, access to expert services and other supports, helping companies commercialize and bring their products to markets around the world.
Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, co-founder and CEO of Braze Mobility, says that as a first-time entrepreneur, it can be challenging to become established and get the word out.
“AGE-WELL was really critical in not only providing financial support but also in offering mentorship and connections, as well as visibility through their events and workshops,” she says. “Through all of these different resources, we were able to be very cost-efficient early on and actually get to market much faster than we otherwise would have.”
Dr. Viswanathan will share her experiences with growing a startup as one of more than 50 speakers at AgeTech Innovation Week, a free virtual event hosted by AGE-WELL from October 4 to 8, 2021.
Read the entire article here.Read More
A snippet from the article written by Charles Mandel at Betakit:
Four Canadian startups are in this year’s Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders program. The search giant announced that two Toronto companies, Braze Mobility and Paperstack, as well as Vancouver’s SafetyDocs Global, and Montreal’s Tengiva are among the 12 women-led startups accepted into the program this year.
“We’re also excited to share that four Canadian startups from across the country are part of this year’s cohort,” said Ashley Francisco, head of Google Canada’s startup developer ecosystem. Starting on September 27, the 10-week virtual program will bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to help these businesses reach their goals.Read More
Our CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Pooja Viswanathan was recently on the Talk Rehab Podcast with Bill Noelting where she shared her journey of building ‘smart’ wheelchair technology, the value of user feedback, and how that influences product development.
They also chat about the Braze system and how similar innovations are great for the complex rehab technology industry.
Some key takeaways:
- Our technology prioritizes user feedback which demonstrated a preference for increase spatial awareness rather than giving up control.
- Our product is easily customizable by the end-user, family members, therapists, and ATPs.
- The average retail price is $2,000 to $2,500 USD and is coded K0108 or E1399.
- Excited to have an industry veteran, Allan Boyd part of our team as the VP of Business Development.
- Blindspot sensors are mainstream technology that is useful for every wheelchair user in order to address user needs, wheelchair design limitations, and environmental barriers.
The future of complex seating and wheeled mobility is often described in terms of evolving or breakthrough technology. But the future of Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) will also be defined and shaped by its people and its leadership. Pooja Viswanathan, Ph.D., explains how her background in academia led to her to co-found Braze Mobility, manufacturer of blind-spot wheelchair sensors, and how her vision as a young, female CEO is impacting Braze Mobility and perhaps CRT as a whole.
Read more here.Read More
What’s your name, the company you represent and where are you located?
Antoinette Brokopp OTR/L, ATP. I work for Reliable Medical Supply. Our local office is in Fort Thomas Kentucky. I work from my home office between Cincinnati and Dayton, OH.
How long have you been an ATP?
I became an ATP in 2018.
What do you enjoy most about being an ATP?
I love being an ATP because it provides me the tools to help people have comfort and mobility to be more independent, more comfortable, and live a more satisfying life. Being an Occupational Therapist blend well with this role because that’s what we’re all about.
My favorite part of being an ATP is being involved with the delivery or seeing my client after they get their equipment and seeing how life-changing my contribution to their care can be.
What benefits have you seen from your clients that use the Braze Mobility sensor system?
I have used the Braze system in a few cases. In one, I had a client who had CP (Cerebral Palsy), but then had a CVA (Cerebrovascular Accident), and became dependent on a power chair.
He was really good about driving but had no sense of what was behind his chair. He was at risk of losing his ability to drive safely, but adding a Sentina to the back of his chair was all the difference he needed.
I have seen clients have greater confidence learning to use their chairs because they didn’t have to worry about unknowingly getting too close to walls and doorways.
In other cases, clients who had been bedridden for long periods, and had to develop the attention span to learn to successfully operate a power chair benefitted greatly from the sensory input provided by the Braze system.
I love how individualized and targeted the system can be and Pooja and the Braze Mobility team are amazing to work with. It’s wonderful being able to design a system with a specific client in mind.Read More