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ACRM LaunchPad A Rehab Technology CompetitionLaunchPad 2021


LaunchPad is an annual competition sponsored by the ACRM Technology Networking Group and hosted by the ACRM Annual Conference. LaunchPad was created to highlight innovative rehabilitation technologies developed by non-profit research and engineering labs and startup companies. It is an exciting opportunity for these companies and labs to pitch their company or idea to a panel of rehab industry experts and an audience of clinicians, researchers, engineers, and decision-makers to receive market feedback and win prizes.

LaunchPad is a 6-month, 2-stage competition. In the Spring of 2021, competitors submitted applications. A panel of expert reviewers chose the following five finalists who will present their technologies at the ACRM 2021 VIRTUAL Annual Conference on 26 September 2021. Save the date and plan to attend.


Blind spot sensors for wheelchairs

Pooja Viswanathan, PhD
CEO, Braze Mobility Inc.
Toronto, Ontario


At Braze Mobility Inc., we create innovative products to enable safe and independent mobility. We have developed a low-cost after-market product that can be added to any wheelchair, and transform it into a ‘smart’ wheelchair that can automatically detect obstacles and offer feedback to the driver. We have a strong and diverse team that is united by our passion for accessibility, and has the expertise to carry out our mission with over a decade of experience in developing ‘smart’ wheelchairs. We look forward to increasing dignity, safety, and independence for millions of people in the world with mobility impairment.

There are 3.7 million wheelchair users in the US. According to a report, 20% of powered mobility device users experienced at least one major collision in a year, and 11% of these users were hospitalized. It is estimated that approximately 61-91% of users will benefit from ‘smart’ wheelchair technology that can help prevent accidents, and also widen access to those who might currently be unduly excluded from powered wheelchair use. READ MORE >>

Increasing Independence and Improving Quality-of-Life and Safety With Hands-Free Footwear

Steven Kaufman
CEO, Hands-Free, Inc.
New York, New York

Hands-Free Inc. is the developer, manufacturer and distributor of Quikiks Hands-Free Shoes, which was formed to improve the quality-of-life and increase the independence and safety for people with physical and cognitive challenges who have a problem with putting on their shoes. There are approximately 50 million people in the United States with some sort of physical or cognitive challenge that inhibits their ability to don and doff their own footwear. Impaired mobility is often the cause, which negatively impacts their quality-of-life, independence, self-esteem and safety. Quikiks Hands-Free Shoes were specifically designed for people with mobility challenges to allow them to get and out of fully supportive, securely fastening footwear without the need to bend over or use their hands. READ MORE >>

NewGait: A functional exercise mobility tool for improved proprioception and neuroplasticity


Benga P. Adeeko, PE
CEO, NewGait
San Diego, California

We make the lives of physical therapists easier and help physical therapy patients improve their gait. Our flagship product, the NewGait, is a wearable locomotor rehab device that provides proprioceptive feedback to promote neuromuscular re-education and accelerate recovery. Our mission is to promote recovery, increase mobility, improve quality of life, and RESTORE HOPE to those with movement limitations through our innovative products. READ MORE >>

Scaling Music as Medicine


Rachel Francine, MS
CEO and Co-Founder, SingFit
Los Angeles, CA

Andy Tubman, MT-BC
Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer, SingFit
Los Angeles, CA

A surge in research on the benefits of active music making out of Harvard Medical School, McGill University, and the National Institutes of Health have conclusively proven the power of prescribed singing to improve our neurological, physical, and emotional health.

Yet, up until the inception of Musical Health Technologies (MHT), therapeutic music had failed to scale. With only 7k music therapists certified to practice in the U.S., until SingFit, access to therapeutic music has been highly limited, expensive, and difficult to access.

Musical Health Technologies’ digital health platform, SingFit, combines groundbreaking science, technology, evidence-based therapeutic protocols and the world’s best songs to successfully scale music as medicine for the first time in history. At the center of the SingFit Platform is the unique lyric-coach track. Each song within the app has been mastered to include a lyric-coach prompter which means almost everyone, including those with dementia, low vision, or other neurological issues can easily participate in singing, no reading required. READ MORE >>

The NeuroLife Sleeve Development Program – Aiming to Restore Hand Function after Stroke


Eric Meyers, PhD
Research Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute
Columbus, Ohio

Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, with the majority of stroke survivors living with some form of upper extremity impairment limiting their functional independence. The NeuroLife Sleeve described here could intuitively increase function in the hand and wrist using electromyography (EMG) triggered functional electrical stimulation (FES). This system has potential to greatly improve the lives of people living with stroke by allowing them to regain control of their impaired hand. READ MORE >>