Swiss startup Scewo digitizes wheelchair technology

Scewo, a medtech company from Switzerland, has launched a pioneering technology for wheelchair users that has recently been approved as a medical aid in Germany.

According to a report from EU Startups the power wheelchair is the first of its kind that can climb stairs while using only two wheels. It has digital steering functions and will be further developed towards autonomous driving in the future.

WHY IT MATTERS

In December 2021 the stair-climbing power wheelchair ‘Scewo BRO’ was approved as a medical device in the German list of medical aids according to the medtech company’s latest press release.

The startup, founded 2014, developed the novel sensor-based power wheelchair ‘BRO’ within three years and also won the Swiss Medtech Award 2021.

The sensor-technology measures the environment and enables users to move smoothly over uneven surfaces. The corresponding app allows smartphone users to steer the wheelchair not only across stairs, but also directly into their car boot. Other functions include the seat lift, e.g. for use in the supermarket and for eye-level conversations.

THE LARGER TREND

According to EU Startups, each year mobility disabilities affect around 20 million people worldwide.

The BRO wheelchair is currently available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“We are planning to expand in the EU market and are currently making the final preparations,” said Natalie Rotschi, Communication and PR Manager at Scewo AG, adding: “We are not yet disclosing which countries we are going to.”

ON THE RECORD

MobiHealthNews asked Scewo how to digitally control and navigate the electric wheelchair: “You can switch between the different modes via the app. For example, in front of a staircase, you can switch from drive mode to staircase mode at the touch of a button,” explained Rotschi.

She continued: “You can also adjust various seat settings, such as the angle of the backrest, download new software to the BRO via the app or always keep an overview thanks to the rear view camera.” Meanwhile, direction and speed of the BRO are controlled via a hand joystick.

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