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The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 promotes commercialization of government research. Through technology transfer efforts, Rehabilitation R&D Center projects become products that can be purchased for the benefit of veterans with disabilities. Below are brief descriptions and the commercial status of products which were developed at the Rehab R&D Center and have been brought to market. This information does not constitute an endorsement by the VA.

Automatic Decomposition Electromyography
ADEMG (Automatic Decomposition Electromyography) is a computer program for analyzing clinical electromyograms which was developed at the Stanford Department of Neurology and the Rehab R&D Center. The program analyzes EMG signals by decomposing them into trains of motor-unit action potentials and then measuring the properties of those potentials. In 1988, a commercial version of ADEMG was released by Nicolet Biomedical Instruments, Madison, WI, to run on the Nicolet Viking electromyograph. At that time, ADEMG was the only commercial program able to decompose EMGs recorded during moderately forceful contractions, and it continues to be one of the premier programs in this regard. Over 100 copies of the ADEMG program have been purchased by researchers and clinicians throughout the world. For further information, contact:

Nicolet Biomedical Instruments
5225-4 Verona Rd.
P.O. Box 4287
Madison, WI  53711

photo of Alexis wheelchair

Alexis Wheelchair
Alexis is an innovative electric wheelchair using a "wheels within wheels" design. It is unique in that it can turn in its own footprint and move sideways. The Rehab R&D Center licensed Intex Industries to make Alexis commercially available in 1987, and Intex made 40 pre-production units for field trials in the San Antonio area. During subsequent redesign efforts, the company filed for bankruptcy, preventing further commercialization at this time.

photo of Arroya Ski-sled in use

Arroya Ski-sled
The Arroya is a ski-sledding alternative to downhill skiing for people with physical disabilities. The Arroya is an aerodynamically contoured, reinforced fiberglass shell with metal runners for steering and turning control, and is accommodated on ski lifts. Many units have been sold and used internationally for both pleasure and para-olympic competition. Although the Arroya is no longer manufactured, it has inspired the development of similar sit-ski designs, and other enhancements of winter sports equipment. It was made commercially available by:

Beneficial Designs

Distribution of Conduction Velocities
A research project in the early 1980's at the Stanford Department of Neurology and the Rehab R&D Center lead to the development of a method for estimating the distribution of conduction velocities (DCV) of the fibers in a peripheral nerve. DCV analysis is more sensitive than conventional nerve-conduction measurements since it characterizes the velocities of all the large myelinated fibers in the nerve bundle instead of just the fastest ones. A software program for DCV analysis was developed for the Pathfinder evoked-potential machine produced by Nicolet Biomedical Instruments, Madison, WI.

photo of HandBikeHandbike
The arm-powered Handbike is a true two-wheeled bicycle specifically designed for people with lower limb disability, such as paraplegia or amputation. Riders experience the exhilaration of quick accelerations, speed, and leaning into curves as they power, steer, and brake with the hand cranks. Suspended side casters touch down at a pre-set maximum lean and latch for four-wheeling, transfering, ascending ramps, and maneuvering in tight situations. Riders with limited trunk stability balance the Handbike by steering. A folding crank tower option facilitates transfers. The Handbike began as a student project in the Stanford Design Division of Mechanical Engineering with further development at Rehab R&D Center under sponsorship from the Telephone Pioneers of America and the British Columbia Program for the International Year of the Disabled Person. It is commercially available. For further information, contact:

New Dimensions Design
90127 W. Demming Rd.
Elmira, OR  97437
503/343-7037 fax

photo of HandTyper in use

The HandTyper is a simple and effective typing aid that is commercially available and has been popular with occupational therapists and patients. For people with spinal cord injury and others with limited hand function, it provides a way for the user to type, turn pages, and move paper on desks. It offers a secure fit, gives visual access to keyboards, and is padded to protect the dorsal suface of the hand. For further information, contact:

Alimed, Inc.
297 High St.
Dedham, MA  02026-9135

photo of Lingraphica

Lingraphica is a portable assistive and therapeutic communication device for people with aphasia from stroke or other brain injury. It was developed under a Merit Review project at the Rehab R&D Center in 1987-1989 and commercialized in 1990 under the Technology Transfer Act. In 1996, the parent company, Lingraphicare America, redirected its efforts from selling medical devices to providing clinical language and speech therapy services to adults with aphasia. Their services employing Lingraphica report greater rates of improvement and better ultimate outcomes than traditional speech-language therapy.

Journal article: Improving Outcomes for Persons with Aphasia in Advanced Community-Based Treatment Programs

For information or referral, contact:

LingraphiCARE America, Inc.
425 Jackson St.
Oakland, CA  94607
520/302-0500 fax

screen shot of SIMM

Software for Interactive Musculoskeletal Modeling
Software for Interactive Musculoskeletal Modeling (SIMM) is a graphics-based software system that quickly develops and analyzes musculoskeletal models consisting of a set of rigid body segments connected by joints. SIMM runs on Silicon Graphics workstations. To date 30 copies have been sold, including several in Europe and Japan. Musculographics, Inc. is distributing SIMM, and may be contacted for more information at:

Musculographics, Inc
1840 Oak Ave.
Evanston, IL  60201
847/866-1808 fax

image of cycling application

Dynamics Pipeline
Developed at the Rehab R&D Center in the late 1980s, the Dynamics Pipeline is a suite of software tools that performs forward and inverse dynamic simulations on musculoskeletal models. It connects SIMM (above) to SD/FAST (Symbolicm Dynamics, Mountain View, CA) which simulates the dynamics of rigid-body systems. Once a musculoskeletal model is created in SIMM, Dynamics Pipeline translates it into a model which SD/FAST can execute to create a complete simulation program. This program computes dynamic muscle force, torque, and body segment motion. Dynamic Pipeline runs on Silicon Graphics workstations. It is available from Musculographics, Inc. For more information contact:

Musculographics, Inc
1840 Oak Ave.
Evanston, IL  60201
847/866-1808 fax

VA-Twist Software
VA-Twist is a software program for bioengineering applications. It uses finite element methods to calculate the area and torsional properties of general cross-sectional geometries, especially cross sections of long bones. It runs on IBM-compatible computers with Microsoft 32-bit Fortran Power Station, Macintosh computers with Mac Fortran II and MPW, and most engineering work stations equipped with an ANSI Fortran compiler. It is available at no charge from:

Gary Beaupre, PhD
Rehab R&D Center
650/493-5000 ext. 6-4272
650/493-4919 fax

Bug fix information for previous versions of VA-Twist.

Low Vision Reference
Low Vision Reference is a database of 6400 citations in the blindness and low vision field. The initial product was created at the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center and Rehab R&D Center in 1989. The first two editions have been sold and used in 14 countries. The third edition is now available in print and on disc in DOS and Macintosh formats. The EndNote citation manager and 81 keywords facilitate searching and browsing the database. For more information, contact:

Lighthouse Industries
Attn: Publications Department
36-20 Northern Blvd.
Long Island City, NY  11101

photo of VASIO seat cushion

Veterans Administration Seat Insert Orthosis
The VASIO (Veterans Administration Seat Insert Orthosis) seat cushion for wheelchair users was originally developed by the Rehabilitation Engineering Center at Packard Children's Hospital under contract from the VA Palo Alto Spinal Cord Injury Service. It was clinically tested at the Spinal Cord Injury Service, it has been used successfully for many years. Additional information can be obtained from:

Orthopedic Systems Inc.
30031 Ahern Ave.
Union City, CA  94587-1234
510/429-8500 fax

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