Editor's Note

To Boldly Go

the universeHistorically, it’s not easy to be first — the first one to point a ship toward a place on maps labeled Here be dragons, or the first to suggest that the earth might circle the sun instead of vice versa. Exploration is filled with very real dangers, whether it’s the bodily risk of sailing off the edge of the world or the chance you’ll be laughed at by peers.

Thank goodness there have been and are adventurers with stout hearts and (no pun intended) thick skin. Thank goodness so many of them work in mobility today.

For this issue, for instance, we talked with Chuck Hardy of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) about how autonomous vehicles could impact the lives of people with disabilities (story starting on page 18). It’s still relatively early in the discussion, but NMEDA wants to be part of these conversations now, to be sure the perspectives of its end users are included as technology develops.

There was terrific news from Cure SMA (page 12) about Spinraza, which has become the very first FDA-approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Michelle Lange shares results of her dynamic seating survey (page 14), which examined clinician and ATP use of this emerging technology.

And we sat in on a tremendous conversation featuring some of the most distinguished minds currently studying pressure injuries. The resulting feature story (page 22) looks both backward and forward, bringing what we’ve known about deep tissue injuries and merging it with a technology that one day soon could make pressure injury risk assessment as simple to perform as taking a patient’s temperature.

“I used to watch Star Trek,” Gefen mentioned during the interview. “I don’t think I ever saw a pressure ulcer there. But they definitely have the diagnostic imaging tools that I’d like to see in my lifetime.”

His remark was light hearted, but there was a lot of truth in it. Who hasn’t wished that medical woes ranging from fevers to fractures could be so quickly and non-invasively cured the way they are on Star Trek? What would healthcare be like if risk assessment for at least some forms of pressure injuries was routine, painless, quick and accurate?

Complex rehab and mobility are about to start their show seasons. Exhibit halls will be filled with product launches; meeting rooms will be filled with prototypes; classrooms will be filled with new theories and strategies. It’s true that introducing new ideas can be rough. There are times when adventurers take their lumps, real and metaphorical. And then they put their heads back down and go back to work. Thank goodness for them, and for you.

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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