The SARTA MedStart 2012 Claire Pomeroy Award for innovation in medical technology was recently presented to inventor Brian Watwood in recognition of his product, the Wijit Lever Driving and Braking System for wheelchairs. The Claire Pomeroy Awards are designed to recognize and celebrate excellence in medical technology innovation by honoring Sacramento, Calif-based inventors whose products can potentially have a global impact in transforming some aspect of medicine and health care for the better. A news release notes that 7 nominees were considered for the 2012 award.

According to the release, Watwood’s experience as a wheelchair user helped served as a catalyst for the Wijit’s development. The Wijit Lever Driving and Braking System is a dynamic braking system engineered to amplify the user’s force by more than 50% over the conventional push rim, in order to enable more ground to be covered with half the number of pushes. Watwood’s work also reportedly made him an inductee into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities.

Cary Adams, SARTA MedStart notes that Watwood’s work on the Wijit and the work of the other 2012 award nominees, “demonstrates the high level of med tech innovation we’re seeing in the Sacramento region. We expect to see continued growth and more exciting developments in this increasingly important segment of the regional tech sector,” Adams says.

Additional 2012 Pomeroy Award nominees and their technological innovations include William L. Bargar, MD, for Robodoc, a surgical robot used in hip replacement surgery, John M. Boone, PhD, whose innovation encompassed using computer tomography (CT) imaging for breast scans, and Paul Douglas Corl, PhD, for a pressuring measuring coronary guide wire from Volcano Corporation. Other nominees include Melvyn Harris, MD, recognized for the Evena Risk Mitigation Platform, Paul Kelly MD, FACS, recognized for his work on the CellSaver, which saves surgery patients’ blood, and John P. McGahan, MD, a reported pioneer in the invention of radio frequency ablation (RFA) for cancer treatment.

Source: SARTA MedStart