As part of her CARE (CREATE Academic Rehabilitation Engineering) internship, biomedical engineering PhD student Vicki Komisar is heavily involved in the commercialization of two important rehabilitation products for the Staxi Corporation. Working out of the iDAPT ‘HomeLab’ and ‘CareLab’ facilities in the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Vicki is developing products for patients returning home with mobility problems post-hospitalization. Her first project, SafetyGrip Pole Kit consists of a pressure-fit vertical pole and clip-on horizontal handrails to support safer mobility in the home. The StandEasy Transfer Pole, her second project, consists of a wall-mounted bedside pole designed for care facilities with high or drop ceilings. Both products are expected to hit the markets soon.
But it’s her work within the community that Vicki believes has given her an unparalleled breadth of experience. Clinical observerships have afforded Vicki the chance to speak with home care recipients and clinicians as she observed their routine interactions.
Community engagement is another of the CARE program’s goals. Vicki created educational programs, and is currently an instructor, for the University of Toronto’s internationally renowned DEEP (DaVinci Engineering Enrichment Program) Summer Academy. Vicki has shaped a curriculum that develops in high school-age students awareness of the challenges people living with disabilities have in and around the community– from using wheelchairs to vision impairment to neuroprosthetics –and allows students to engineer solutions to these everyday problems.
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