To Boldly Go
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Feb 01, 2017
Historically, 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
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
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
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.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.