The PUMA System

Pressure Ulcer Measurement and Actuation

Picture of prototype on Qimova chairPUMA (Pressure Ulcer Measurement and Actuation) is a project that aims to develop a novel portable and non-invasive system to prevent and early detect the risk of Pressure Ulcer (PU) development and revert its onset at Tetraplegic Spinal Cord Injured (T-SCI) individuals relying on wheelchairs, based on the control and improvement of tissue viability.

Wheelchair users (over 5 Million world wide) are prone to develop Pressure Ulcers (PU), especially Tetraplegic Spinal Cord Injury (T-SCI) as they do not dispose of the natural mechanisms for prevention. T-SCI lack of pain perception, motor control, reduced tissue viability and alterations on the ANS (autonomic nervous system) affecting basal tissue status and response (hyperemia).

PUMA consists of the following components: 
  1. Smart Short embedding the different tissue viability sensors and Functional Electro Stimulation (FES) electrodes in an electronic-textile short.
  2. Dynamic actuation system (industrial design and patent pending), composed of the integration of Qimova´s ¨Comfort¨ tilt-in-space wheelchair and dynamic pressure cushion.
  3. FES (Functional Electro Stimulation) Control (industrial design), controlling the parameters for muscular and vascular stimulation based on measured tissue viability for tetraplegic SCI.
  4. Risk Measurement Control (industrial know-how and patent pending), being the brain of the system receiving the measurement data from the smart short and assessing the risk of developing a PU, activating the FES control as well as the actuation control.
  5. Actuation Control controlling the repositioning movements of the dynamic actuation system by adjusting independently the seat and backrest angles.
  6. PUMA System (patent pending) preventing and early detecting the risk of PU development by measuring and acting on tissue viability.


The Project consortium is composed by Qimova (Denmark), as coordinator, IBV, Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia, (Spain), BerkelBike (Netherlands), SensingTex (Spain), EII, Estonian Innovation Institute (Estonia) and Centexbel (Belgium).

Qimova Logo  IBV Logo  BerkelBike Logo  SensingTex Logo EII Logo CenTexBel Logo

 The National Paraplegic Hospital of Toledo (FUHNPAIIN) has collaborated in the validation of the final device with real users and ILUNION (previously named Vía Libre) has provided the double role, prosthetics technicians, as prescribers, and its proximity to the wheelchair users.

  Groupo Fundosa Logo  Fuhnpaiin Logo  

The PUMA project is funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Research Programme 2007-2013, in the specific program "capabilities" in its call 2012 called "Research for the benefit of SMEs", with a total duration of 27 months with the contract number 315114.

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Founded by the European Commission