Breakthrough in Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Launched in the UK

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The world's first lever-drive propulsion accessory for manual wheelchairs reduces the force needed to self-propel by up to 40% and is now available in the UK. Called 'NuDrive', this breakthrough technology for improving wheelchair propulsion was launched on 7th October by Peter Gage, Chairman of the NHS National Wheelchair Managers' Forum, at the Aspire National Training Centre. NuDrive is set to increase independence for millions of manual wheelchair users around the world.

Speakers at the NuDrive launch

The catalyst that inspired me to take the idea from being an A-Level project into a commercial reality was seeing the impact my design had on my friend Emily Steward. Emily has Spina Bifida and NuDrive gave her so much more independence. The encounter gave me the conviction to take the plunge and devote myself to making the idea a reality.

The world's first lever-drive propulsion accessory for manual wheelchairs is now available in the UK. The revolutionary 'NuDrive' system from Pure Global Ltd reduces the force needed to self-propel by up to 40% and greatly increases independence for the user, enabling them to propel themselves further with greater ease, and with less strain on the body.

With NuDrive, the user can propel themselves forwards and backwards, manoeuvre and brake, simply by pushing the levers - there's no need to spin the wheel rims by hand. NuDrive attaches in seconds to almost any manual wheelchair with 24inch metal spoked wheels so there's no need to buy a new chair. http://www.nu-drive.com

Speaking about the design Peter Gage, Chairman of the NHS National Wheelchair Managers' Forum, said: "As time passes we see advances made as small progressions with very few leaps forward. This concept design represents one of those leaps."

Existing clinical research indicates that lever-drives shift the shoulder loading and can reduce shoulder degradation and injury. They can also increase torque transmission and protect wrists and hands. At only £349 NuDrive makes the benefits of lever-drives affordable as it can be attached to an existing chair.

Emily Steward is 18 with Spina Bifida and has this to say: "It is a lot easier to get up slopes with NuDrive, I can sit up straight, I don't have to strain and I can get more power behind the stroke. It helps me keep going for longer."

NuDrive can be used by both long-term and occasional wheelchair users who have some degree of strength in both arms. It is great both indoors and outdoors and can help the user tackle inclines and more difficult or uneven terrains. NuDrive improves posture and reduces strain on the user's shoulders - helping to prevent shoulder injury. The ergonomically designed drive units allow users with arthritic or weak hands to self-propel as it requires no finger of hand dexterity. By removing the need to grip and release the wheel rims, NuDrive eliminates the threat of Repetitive Strain Injury in hands, protects hands from abrasion and maintains cleanliness and hygiene.

The concept is simple, but the technology is cutting edge. NuDrive has been developed for Pure Global by one of the UK's leading product designers, London Associates, in association with the Aspire Centre for Disability Sciences. Wheelchair users with a range of medical conditions and disabilities were involved throughout the research to ensure a high level of medical efficacy.

Pure Global Ltd was established in 2003 by Robert Orford when he was just 20. Robert won the Young Designer of the Year Award in 2002 for his initial prototype and has since raised more than £1million of investment to develop NuDrive.

Speaking about his journey Robert said: "The catalyst that inspired me to take the idea from being an A-Level project into a commercial reality was seeing the impact my design had on my friend Emily Steward. Emily has Spina Bifida and NuDrive gave her so much more independence. The encounter gave me the conviction to take the plunge and devote myself to making the idea a reality."

"I have learned a lot over the past six years and it's been hard work, but I'm truly delighted to be able to make this technology available and both me and the my team hope it will be a real blessing."

Pure Global donated a number of products to charity at the launch event, including Aspire, the Spinal Injuries Association and the Back Up Trust.

Watch a short video of NuDrive in action around London on YouTube here NuDrive promo video

Watch a short video demonstration of how to use NuDrive on YouTube here NuDrive demonstration

About Pure Global Ltd:

Pure Global Ltd is based in Watford in the UK and is a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association. The company only employs qualified physiotherapists as sales clinicians to ensure that customers are properly and ethically advised.

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Amanda Goodchild
Pure Global Ltd
+44 (0)1622 687 729
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Robert Orford, CEO
Pure Global Ltd
+44 (0)845 0542 930
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