July 25, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
SEATTLE, Wash. (July 25, 2007) – From nearly 1,700 global design entries submitted to the 2007 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA™), MAGICWHEELS™ – the first ever two-gear manual wheelchair wheel – is being awarded a prestigious silver medal by the IDEA jury as one of the best new product designs of the year.

Already a winner of the 2006 Medtrade Innovation Award as well as the Innovative Product Award at the 2006 Canadian Seating & Mobility Conference, MAGICWHEELS™ 2-gear wheels are “reinventing the wheel” when it comes to medical equipment. With the advent of this revolutionary technology, which changes gears like a bicycle and has been clinically shown to significantly reduce shoulder pain, the definition of mobility for wheelchair users is gaining a new meaning.

Co-sponsored by BusinessWeek magazine and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the IDEA program promotes business and public understanding of the impact of industrial design excellence on the quality of life and the economy. In categories as diverse as consumer electronics, transportation, eco-design, housewares, furniture and medical equipment, the perfect marriage between outstanding aesthetics and strategic business development – where form and function merge as one in a rare union – epitomize the winners of the IDEA program.

There are more than 2.2 million Americans living outside institutions using manual wheelchairs today . In clinical studies, as many as 80 percent of those users report moderate to severe chronic shoulder pain. This often debilitating discomfort stems from the dependence on the upper extremities strained by repeated use.

Since their invention more than 130 years ago, manual wheelchair wheels have changed little from the horse-and-buggy days. Today, the cutting-edge technological advancement embodied in the sleek form of MAGICWHEELS™ drive wheels enables the user to traverse terrain previously off-limits, offering a much-needed and renewed sense of independence and increased mobility. These all-mechanical wheels provide two easily shifted gears – not unlike those on a bicycle. When shifted, the wheels reduce the effort of climbing and negotiating rough terrain by half.

“We are thrilled to accept this award and look forward to continuing to demonstrate the significant benefits of MAGICWHEELS for manual wheelchair users,” said Allan Boyd, Vice President of Magic Wheels, Inc. “With our independent federally funded (NIH) study, we have confirmed that MAGICWHEELS technology can reduce shoulder pain and promote increased mobility and independence. This is paramount to the manual wheelchair user population. We also believe we are preventing future shoulder pain and the potential need for shoulder or arm surgery.”

A recently completed study on shoulder pain conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science, revealed that, after only two weeks of MAGICWHEELS two-gear wheel usage, significant shoulder pain reduction occurred in the test subjects and continued to decrease by more than 55 percent in the 20-week trial. Among the items showing significant pain reduction were the 10-minute push, ramp ascent, driving, chores, and sleeping. These findings reveal the promise for shoulder pain reduction due to reduced joint loading with the use of MAGICWHEELS two-gear wheels throughout daily mobility.

• MAGICWHEELS™ feature an easy shifter for users with limited hand and arm strength to shift into the lower gear before climbing hills and/or rolling over uneven terrain
• Offers downhill braking assistance to increase user control
• Includes a built-in hill-holder with user-controlled override to prevent the wheelchair from rolling backwards when going uphill, allowing the user to rest between pushes and maneuver on hills.
• The thin, light wheel disk is made of state-of-the-art, aerospace grade, high-strength carbon fiber
• Quick-release wheel axles easily attach and detach to the frames of most manual wheelchairs
• Wheels add no width to a wheelchair with standard hand rims
• MAGICWHEELS require neither batteries nor motors

• Provides increased mobility, reduced arm and shoulder pain (up to 80 percent of manual wheelchair users suffer from chronic shoulder pain), and deferral or elimination of the need for electric wheelchair use
• Both strong and weak users experience a clinically demonstrated reduction in shoulder pain by more than 55 percent (NIH SBIR #5 R44 HD035793-05)
• Weaker pushers gain added mobility on slopes and avoid potential health issues from reduced activity levels after transitioning to an electric wheelchair
• Available to wheelchair users with or without a prescription
• Magic Wheels, Inc. provides assistance to consumers and therapists in justifying the 2-gear drive and applying for individual purchase funding coverage and authorization

Magic Wheels, Inc. was co-founded in 1996 in Seattle, Washington by Steve Meginniss, a successful inventor and product developer. Other founders include a physiatrist (physical medicine physician) with experience in two previous multi-speed manual wheelchair projects, and a major local wheelchair dealer. For more information about MAGICWHEELS products, please visit