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Customer Story

Improving the process of evaluating a home for wheelchair access

The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City is world renown. People come from all over the world to participate in the state of the art rehabilitation program offered at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai’s vision is to provide the best state of the art treatments for spinal cord injury and to help persons with spinal cord injury reach their full potential.

People who sustain catastrophic spinal cord injuries undergo intensive therapy daily in order to reach their maximal potential. Often in order to reach their maximal potential and independence, some people require durable medical equipment which can include things such as power wheelchairs, commodes, and shower chairs. This equipment can be expensive however and if it is ordered and does not fit in the environment for which it is intended to be used, this is a problem.

The Solution

The clinicians caring for persons with spinal cord injury at Mount Sinai started to look at various mobile applications that would create a blueprint of a home and of all the ones that they looked at, magicplan was thought to be the best.

They then applied to the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation for support to test use of magicplan for evaluating patients’ homes for potential inclusion of durable medical equipment that will fit, and began a fruitful collaboration with magicplan to do just that.

First, the clinicians at Mount Sinai created a “Durable Medical Equipment” database of different types of wheelchairs, commodes, and other things that was incorporated into magicplan which appeared as accurately scaled avatars of wheelchairs, commodes, and other equipment within the mobile application. They also created a video to teach anyone how to create an informative floor plan and how to use this floor plan to evaluate whether or not chosen durable medical equipment will fit within a home before the equipment is actually ordered and delivered.

The way the clinicians and researchers at the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City initially and other centers later implemented and tested magicplan included several steps. First, an iPad installed with magicplan app was provided to a patient’s family member who then took it home and used it to create a floor plan of the home.

Next, the family member brought back or e-mailed back the completed floor plan to the clinician therapist who then completed the home evaluation by inserting the avatars of the durable medical equipment items needed by the patient from the “Durable Medical Equip.” database into the floor plan.

If the chosen equipment fit and seemed appropriate, it was ordered by the clinicians in consultation with the patient. Lastly, they rigorously tested this procedure for performing home evaluations by evaluating how easily people could perform the measurements and how useful the information obtained was in choosing appropriate wheelchairs and other equipment.

The entire development and testing process took three years. 

The Result

Whenever clinicians at the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City now want to order durable medical equipment and there is any question at all if this equipment will fit in the environment for which it is intended, magicplan is used to confirm virtually that it will fit.

They have found that most people can use magicplan to create a floorplan of the home. They hope that other rehabilitation centers will adopt magicplan to ensure that the equipment they order is most appropriate as this will ensure that people who use complex durable medical will reach their maximal potential and independence.

If someone has a disability and needs durable medical equipment such as a wheelchair or a commode, he/she can perform a home evaluation using magicplan just like what Mount Sinai did by following a few simple steps.  These steps are outlined on help pages of magicplan which you can access directly here or you can search for the words: “home evaluation” or “DME” under LEARN and knowledge base on the magicplan website.


Thomas N. Bryce, MD, Medical Director
Mount Sinai Hospital