History and Evolution of the Electric Wheelchair


The electric wheelchair is the greatest contribution from Canada to the entire world. In 1950, Dr. George Johann Klein developed this wonderful creation to make a revolution in the medical field. It was very useful at the time of Second World War and it helped to save many lives. Now different types of wheelchairs are available in the market. But all of them are derived from the old wheelchair which was invented several decades ago.

Dr. Klein integrated the opinions of patients, doctors, electronic engineers and scientists, before making this useful invention. His efforts were supported by the National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Paraplegic Association and the state’s Department of Veteran Affairs.

Wheelchairs before electric wheelchairs were mainly designed for paraplegic persons. But Dr. Klein’s creation had so many more features than a normal wheelchair. This wheelchair not only works for paraplegic people but it can also be used by quadriplegics. Its invention was very near to World War 2 so it made a great contribution to the Red Cross, and helped thousands of injured people.

Users of electric wheelchairs do not bound within the limit of quadriplegics and paraplegics, many doctors have suggested it for patients with cardiovascular issues. One desirable feature of the wheelchair is that any one can customize it with their use. They can use it indoor and outdoors as well. Some of them can port easily.

The main functions of an electric wheelchair are to help in movement. Besides going forward and backwards, movements like stretching and titling can also be done. Its movement is controlled by joy sticks; chin controls or sip/puff controls. We can control the wheelchair’s direction, speed or other parameters by these joysticks.

These wheelchairs have some disadvantages too. Repairing an electric wheelchair consumes money and time. Another drawback is its price. It is not affordable for a common man. The price starts from $1000 to $3000 for an ordinary one and can cost around $10,000 for an advanced model.

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