Updated: Aug 7
Where it Started
In November 2022, Kalogon presented its first webinar through Kalogon University! Clinical Education Specialist, Wendy Underwood, dove into the brains behind Kalogon's smart seating technology in an interview with founder and CEO Tim Balz.
"I've been working in the abilities industry for over a decade now," says Tim Balz.
Tim started his journey in the abilities industry in high school when he fixed and personalized an electric wheelchair for a fellow student.
Tim founded and continues to run Freedom Chairs, a non-profit that builds and provides electric wheelchairs to those who cannot afford them. His commitment to helping this community has provided • patients with nearly 200 wheelchairs in the last 10 ears. Through this work, Tim was endorsed by famed physicist Stephen Hawking, and partnered with Intel to develop the world's first smart wheelchair.
Tim's shift into the smart seating space started when he founded a company that built the power wheelchairs themselves. "This is when we identified that smart tech should go into the seating as well.*
Pressure injuries are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, with their complications resulting in nearly 60,000 deaths annually. These injuries develop due to unmitigated pressure applied to the skin and deep tissue when seated for long periods of time, making wheelchair users particularly vulnerable.
Current solutions for preventing pressure injuries do not effectively address the problem at hand. Traditional wheelchair cushions are static, made of either blocks of foam, inflated air pockets or both. Without the person actively shifting their weight, pressures build and cause reduced blood flow, leading to painful and costly pressure injuries. Practicing consistent and proper pressure offloading is critical for preventing PI development; however many wheelchair users do not perform the offloads or have preexisting conditions that make performing offloads extremely difficult. What results is unmitigated pressure and eventually a pressure injury.
"We spent over a year testing our product and having end-users use it in a controlled environment before we even announced that it existed,"
"From the beginning we wanted to incorporate trust into our company, our culture, and our name. Kalogon means trust and stability."
Using a combination of machine learning and patent-pending air cell technology, the Kalogon Orbiter Smart Cushion analyzes pressure points in real-time, intelligently redistributing weight, increasing comfort and maintaining blood flow in wheelchair users. A connected app enables wheelchair users, caregivers and clinicians to personalize their experience to support healing and pain relief.
The intent of the Kalogon Orbiter Smart Cushion is to 'bridge the gap' between clinically recommended pressure offloading regiments and what movement is feasible and practical for those with limited mobility outside the care setting. The invention of the Kalogon Orbiter Smart Cushion has completely revolutionized wheelchair seating and is redefining the standard of care for wheelchair users: an issue that has been left untouched for too long.
To learn more about Tim's story, visit Kalogon University to view this webinar on-demand!