A new cooling wheelchair backrest innovation has officially launched onto the UK mobility market via an e-commerce platform following months of research, development and fundraising.
The wheelAIR backrest launched at an event in Edinburgh last week and is designed to be a solution to the problem of overheating in wheelchair users, of which little is known and can lead to serious health ailments as well as impacting the daily life of a user.
The solution uses inbuilt fan technology which cools the user’s back and reduces core temperature by taking away excess heat and moisture. This allows for instant comfort and better temperature control. The cushion also offers extra support through a unique blend of foams.
wheelAIR has been designed in Glasgow by healthcare product start up, Staels Design, with the input of Paralympic athletes as well as wheelchair producers. The company kicked off its crowdfunding campaign in June but was quick to enter the market after winning numerous awards resulting in cash prizes to be used to develop the business.
Corien Staels, designer of the wheelAIR and CEO of Staels Design, said officially launching onto the market was a “surreal and thrilling feeling”.
“It has been an exciting journey so far and it is so rewarding to see my backrest cushion finally in a position to make a difference. I hope that this is only the start of what we can do to help people.”
The company will be trading under the wheelAIR name, and has rebranded to wheelAIR online and on social media channels from its former name, Staels Design, to accompany its new website.
The launch event saw athletes, industry leaders, disability charities and health professionals gather to celebrate the launch of the wheelAIR e-commerce platform. The event was also a nod to wider accessibility innovation in Scotland as well as commending successful business women.
Meanwhile, wheelAIR’s official brand ambassador, double Paralympian and European champion Michael Kerr, commented: “I experience a lot of problems with overheating when playing sport and am glad there is now an effective and unobtrusive solution. I will no longer have to resort to being sprayed with water to cool down.”