Innovative Smartglass wheelchair control system reimbursed in the Netherlands for the first time
The German tech startup Munevo developed a Smartglass application that can control several types of electric wheelchairs by the mere use of head movements. The technology originated from an idea developed by a group of students at The Technical University of Munich. Munevo now has more than twenty employees. The innovative system has been receiving reimbursement in Germany since 2019 and recently became available in the Netherlands. Welzorg, a distributor of medical supplies and healthcare products for medical needs at home, approved the first application for reimbursement submitted by ALS patient Peter Snoek from Maastricht.
Munevo Drive, as the solution is called, increases the freedom, independence and quality of life for wheelchair users with limited hand function. Peter Snoek, the first Dutch user of Munevo Drive, is enthusiastic: “My hand function is deteriorating by the day. By using Munevo Drive, I hope to remain reasonably independent for a while”. The possibilities of the Smartglass are countless. Users can operate a robotic arm, take pictures, control smart-home solutions and initiate emergency calls.
Erwin Punte, Specialist Electronics and Control Technology at Welzorg, guides wheelchair users in selecting the right control system. “When it comes to progressive illnesses, it is important to also consider a client’s mobility at a later stage”. Erwin’s first experiences with Munevo Drive are positive: “I certainly believe this is a good solution for people with limited hand function. Good control of the head and neck stability are however important prerequisites”.
The innovative control system is currently available for a select group of wheelchair users. In case of sufficient hand function, a (modified) joystick control will likely be selected. “In this case, a modified joystick control is an adequate, yet cheaper solution,” says Erwin.
To schedule a user test or for any other inquiries, please contact Gijs Langkamp (MedScaler) via email@example.com.