RESNA Annual Conference 2018

July 18 - 2018 by Perry Loh

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The 2018 version of the annual RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) was a great success. It was held July 13-15, 2018 in Arlington Virginia, USA, just across the river from Washington DC.

RESNA has 1,000 active members, and in addition there are currently 4,000 professionals certified as ATP's. Most of these are in the USA. 500 people attended this year's annual conference. They were primarily academicians, clinicians, biomedical engineers, public policy & government representatives and others directly involved with Assistive Technology. There was a well-attended commercial exhibit area.

The seminars and presentations at the RESNA conferences were primarily focused on academic research, technological developments, applications and outcomes, public policy and reimbursement, as well as treatment methods and case studies.

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International attendance included representatives from Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK. The presidents of both the Australian and South Korean "RESNA" sister organizations were in attendance and participating actively in the proceedings. Brazil sent a representative from the Ministry of Human Rights. A member of the UK's House of Lords was one of the outstanding speakers and participants.

I am the Chair of the RESNA International SIG. Our annual meeting had surprisingly good attendance. I am constantly amazed and humbled by people's dedication to improving AT availability in Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world that have limited resources and/or poor governance. The Executive Director of RESNA, one RESNA board member, the representatives from Australia and South Korea, and the Vice President of the Brazilian Association of Manufacturers ABRIDEF chose to attend, which is encouraging. Canadian involvement is strong.

We are proud of our researchers from Latin America who made presentations of their work at the RESNA Conference this year. Ms. Sandra Arias Guzman of Mexico presented on the physical and mechanical characteristics of seat cushions and the relevant ISO standards. Ms. Adriana Klein is from the Brazilian University of Sao Paulo (USP). She presented her doctoral thesis, which is a smartphone app that guides clinicians in prescribing complex rehab and positioning in Portuguese. It is a clever and useful application of technology to improve the professionalism of our industry.

Next year's RESNA Conference will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Come join us!

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