The Braze Mobility Blog

 

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Logos of U.S. Rehab and Braze Mobility announcing their new partnership

U.S. Rehab Signs Partnership Agreement with Braze Mobility

06/10/2022

June 10, 2022 (Waterloo, Iowa)

U.S. Rehab, a division of VGM & Associates, announced it has signed a partnership agreement with Braze Mobility Inc. to make the innovative Braze Blind Spot Sensors for wheelchairs available to its members nationwide. 

Braze Mobility Inc. has created the world’s first blind spot sensors that can be added to any manual or power wheelchair and transform it into a ‘smart’ wheelchair. The patented technology automatically detects obstacles and provides feedback to the user through intuitive lights, sounds, and vibrations. This technology can help prevent accidents resulting in property damage, wheelchair damage, and injuries that can lead to hospitalization. 

In addition, Braze Blind Spot Sensors can potentially widen access to power wheelchair use to those who might currently be unduly excluded. The company’s solution is based on over a decade of user-centered research with wheelchair users, which has been published in several peer-reviewed articles. 

“U.S. Rehab is extremely excited about this new partnership. This is a growing market and it is a great opportunity for our U.S. Rehab members, ” said Greg Packer, President, U.S. Rehab. “We strive to continually bring partnerships to our members that are beneficial for them, and their customers.”   

“We are really excited to partner with U.S. Rehab and be able to work with all their members across the country, many of whom we have already had the pleasure of working with”, said Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, CEO, and co-founder of Braze Mobility. “We strongly believe in empowering users by increasing their spatial awareness while leaving them fully in control. Our approach is resonating with clients who value their independence. This partnership will allow many more manual and powered wheelchair users to access the Braze Blind Spot Sensors so they can navigate their environments boldly, independently, and safely.” 

Physicians, therapists, and customers should contact their local VGM member for more information on this exciting technology. 

About VGM & Associates: VGM & Associates is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive member service organization (MSO) for post-acute healthcare including DME/HME, respiratory, sleep, wound care, complex rehab, women’s health, home modifications, and orthotics and prosthetics providers. Over 2,500 providers with nearly 7,000 locations rely on VGM to connect them to valuable resources every single day. For more information, visit www.vgm.com

About Braze Mobility Inc.: Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company was founded by Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, who has incorporated over a decade of smart wheelchair research into state-of-the-art technology that improves accessibility and independence for people with physical disabilities. Braze Mobility is dedicated to increasing independence, safety, and overall quality of life for people living with mobility challenges. The team at Braze Mobility engages with end-users throughout the design process to create accessible and innovative technologies that are affordable and easy to use. The company currently sells its technology in North America and will be launching its products overseas soon. For more information, visit www.brazemobility.com.

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Photo showing a U.S. Veteran wheelchair user navigating a indoor obstacle course, and a staff member kneeling to take a photo of the veteran.

Central Arkansas VA to be flagship for mobility safety program

06/01/2022

A snippet from the article written by Chris Counts at Kark.com:

The Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System is researching new ways to make wheelchairs and mobility chairs safer for Veterans.

The organization is one of seven Veterans Health Administration sites, and the flagship site, in doing so.

In a partnership with Braze Mobility, Inc., 20 Veteran patients are participating in the development of a terrain analysis system to help wheelchair and mobility chair users navigate outdoor environments safely and independently.

Read the entire article here.

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Sunrise Medical partners with Braze Mobility in Canada

Innovative Braze Blind Spot Sensors for QUICKIE Users across Canada

02/09/2022

February 9, 2022
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Officials at Braze Mobility Inc. and Sunrise Medical Canada announced their partnership today. This new collaboration will make Braze Mobility’s blind spot sensor technology available on the QUICKIE line of power wheelchairs.

Braze Mobility Inc. has created the world’s first blind spot sensors that can be added to any manual or power wheelchair and transform it into a ‘smart’ wheelchair. The technology automatically detects obstacles and provides feedback to the user through intuitive lights, sounds, and vibrations. This technology can help prevent accidents resulting in property damage, wheelchair damage, and injuries that can lead to hospitalization. In addition, Braze Blind Spot Sensors can potentially widen access to power wheelchair use to those who might currently be unduly excluded. The company’s solution is based on over a decade of user-centered research with wheelchair users, which has been published in several peer-reviewed articles.

“Sunrise Medical Canada are very proud to be partnering with Braze Mobility,” said Mike Longo, Senior Director, Commercial Operations. “This partnership will give us first-to-market OEM access to their innovative, blind spot sensor technology on our industry leading line of Quickie power wheelchairs.  Client safety and independence are core values at the heart of our mission of “Improving People’s Lives”.  We are excited to be working closely with the team at Braze on delivering this goal for our customers in Canada.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Sunrise Medical Canada,” said Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, CEO and founder of Braze Mobility Inc. “We have really enjoyed working with the Sunrise team to provide Braze Blind Spot Sensors to QUICKIE users across Canada, helping them navigate boldly, independently, and safely.”

Anyone interested in seeing demonstrations of the technology in Canada should contact their local Sunrise Medical Representative.

About Sunrise Medical: Committed to improving people’s lives, Sunrise Medical (https://www.sunrisemedical.ca) is a world leader in the innovation, manufacture, and distribution of advanced assistive mobility devices and solutions. Distributed in more than 130 countries under its own 17 proprietary brands, the key products include manual and power wheelchairs, e-mobility products, motorized scooters, seating & positioning systems, and daily living aids. Operating in 18 countries, Sunrise Medical group is headquartered in Malsch, Germany, and employs over 2,200 associates worldwide.

About Braze Mobility Inc.: Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company was founded by Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, who has incorporated over a decade of smart wheelchair research into state-of-the-art technology that improves accessibility and independence for people with physical disabilities. Braze Mobility (http://www.brazemobility.com/) is dedicated to increasing independence, safety, and overall quality of life for people living with mobility challenges. The team at Braze Mobility engages with end-users throughout the design process to create accessible and innovative technologies that are affordable and easy to use. The company currently sells its technology in North America and will be launching its products overseas soon.

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Numotion Partners with Braze Mobility as National Distributor

Numotion Partners with Braze Mobility Inc. as National Distributer

01/25/2022

Numotion announced an agreement with Braze Mobility Inc. to distribute the company’s blind spot sensors for wheelchairs.

Brentwood, Tenn. (January 25, 2022) – Numotion, the nation’s leading and largest provider of products and services that provide mobility, health and personal independence is continuing its mission to bring innovative mobility products to people living with disabilities. The company announced it has signed an agreement with Braze Mobility Inc. to distribute the company’s blind spot sensors for wheelchairs.

Most powered mobility device users experience major collisions, resulting in property damage, wheelchair damage, and injuries that can lead to hospitalization. In many cases, these accidents can lead to exclusion from the use of powered mobility devices altogether, even when no other option for independent mobility exists. To address this issue, Braze Mobility has created the world’s first blind spot sensors that can be added to any wheelchair and transform it into a ‘smart’ wheelchair. The technology automatically detects obstacles and provides feedback to the user through intuitive lights, sounds, and vibrations. The company’s solution is based on over a decade of user-centered research with wheelchair users, which has been published in several peer-reviewed articles.

“We are thrilled to offer this innovative technology to our ATPs and customers, said John Pryles, Numotion Executive Vice President of Sales. “Braze Blind Spot Sensors were designed to increase the overall spatial awareness of the person using the system and can be used to help people perform activities of daily living with their wheelchair – all while improving mobility, access and independence for users.”

“This partnership will help manual and powered wheelchair users across the country gain access to and benefit from the Braze Blind Spot Sensors”, said Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, CEO and co-founder of Braze Mobility. “We strongly believe in empowering users by increasing their spatial awareness while leaving them fully in control, and are excited to be partnering with a company that shares our vision.”

Physicians, therapists and customers should contact their local Numotion branch for more information on this exciting technology.

About Numotion

Numotion is the nation’s largest and leading provider of products and services to help individuals with mobility limitations maximize their health, personal independence, and actively participate in everyday life. The Brentwood, TN based company has more than 150 locations in the U.S. and serves more than 300,000 people annually through a collection of brands. Through Numotion (www.numotion.com) the company works with clinicians and health plans to serve people living with disabilities with prescription-based products including individually configured Complex Rehab Technology (CRT), disposable urological and incontinence supplies, and other assistive technologies. Via CorLife (www.corlifedfe.com) the company serves workers compensation insurance carriers by coordinating a full spectrum of care for injured workers, including all forms of mobility equipment, medical supplies and home health care. With SpinLife, (www.spinlife.com) the company offers consumers online retail access to a wide range of mobility and lifestyle enhancement products designed to provide greater independence in and out of the home.

About Braze Mobility Inc.

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company was founded by Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, who has incorporated over a decade of smart wheelchair research into state-of-the-art technology that improves accessibility and independence for people with physical disabilities. Braze Mobility (www.brazemobility.com)  is dedicated to increasing independence, safety, and overall quality of life for people living with mobility challenges. The team at Braze Mobility engages with end-users throughout the design process to create accessible and innovative technologies that are affordable and easy to use. The company currently sells its technology in North America and will be launching its products overseas soon.

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Women of Indian origin in Canada’s ‘100 most powerful’ list

11/27/2021

A snippet of the article by Ishani Duttagupta at The Times of India:

Film-maker, actress and mental health advocate Shreya Patel; board member of Ontario Health and Ontario Power Generation Anju Virmani; founder & CEO of social enterprise STEM Minds Corp Anu Bindai; CEO and founder of smart wheelchairs startup-up Braze Mobility Inc Dr Pooja Viswanathan; academician and provost vice -president academic of University of British Columbia Okanagan Dr Ananya Mukherjee Reed; vice president consumer health, TELUS Health Juggy Sihota; founder and president, Articulate Youth Activisim initiative Bhanvi Sachdeva; COO of Surrey Hospitals Foundation Azra Hussain; and Plan International Canada supervisor Lavanya Hariharan are all among an elite group of Canada’s most powerful women. These women of Indian-origin are all on a list of Canada’s Most Power Women: Top 100 Award Winners for 2021.

Read the entire article here.

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Braze Mobility Takes ‘Next Step’ with VA

11/23/2021

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 the entire article here.

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Going Rogue in Rehab Tech featuring Braze Mobility

10/28/2021

Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, CEO of Braze Mobility Inc, joins us to tell her story of how she did things a little differently during her PhD and with BRAZE. We hope listeners learn from her story and get sparked by some great ideas on alternate paths to take.

Listen to the episode here.

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Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Announces 2021 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners

10/25/2021

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
C-Suite Executives
Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders
BMO Entrepreneurs
CIBC Executive Leaders
RBC Future Launch Future Leaders
Inclusion Vanguard, presented by KPMG
Professionals
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

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VHA Innovation Experience kicks off with 10 Breaking Boundaries: Collaboration Challenge winners named

09/16/2021

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.

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.

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Women-led start-ups get less funding. Can accelerator and mentorship programs bridge the gap?

09/14/2021

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 the entire article here.

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