The development of Paraglide® came on the heels of a collaboration between MacKenzie Atlantic Tool & Die | Machining Ltd., NSCC and Northwood, a leading long-term care facility in Halifax. We were working to solve one of Northwood’s top challenges: employee injuries and short-term disability claims due to repositioning residents in wheelchairs. Working together over several years, we developed a manual device to help reposition patients in wheelchairs.
The idea of the manual device received considerable positive feedback: it was featured at the Premier's State of the Province Address in the spring of 2015, and in the May 2015 issue of Business Voice magazine. It also generated anticipation and excitement from workplace safety organizations and long-term care workers.
Despite this momentum and optimism, we discovered limitations along the way: most notably, while it was a vast improvement to current repositioning methods, the manual device didn't completely eliminate the risk of injury to caregivers. With this risk in mind, we set out to develop a way to automate the movement in order to put control in the hands of the patient, resident or client, and completely eliminate risk to caregivers.
We’re excited to say: we’ve done it.
Our Paraglide® automated repositioning system for wheelchair users is the only repositioning device that gives independence to the wheelchair user, allowing them the control to reposition themselves at the touch of a button -- quickly, comfortably and safely -- as many times as they'd like to throughout the day.
We've won several awards since 2016, notably:
BioInnovation Challenge winner, 2016 - Atlantic Canada's largest business competition in the life sciences sector recognizing innovations that have significant commercialization potential
Audience Choice Award winner, Innovacorp Shift Challenge at the Silver Economy Summit, 2018
2nd place Runner-up, Global Entrepreneur Accelerator Challenge, Halifax, 2018
Top 5 finalist from across Canada, Canadian Export Challenge national pitch competition, Startup Canada, Ottawa, 2018
Aging 2.0 Halifax winner, Global Innovation Challenge, 2019
Aging 2.0 Boston winner, Global Innovation Challenge -- International Competition, 2019
President & CEO
Matthew MacKenzie is a Nova Scotia entrepreneur who’s been on the leading edge of the Nova Scotia machining and manufacturing sector over the past 14 years. He’s built a reputation of top-notch quality and service with clients ranging from oil and gas to defense, and received a Top 20 under 40 award for innovation in manufacturing at the 2015 Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show in Toronto.
MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies Ltd. was founded in 2016 to bring innovative technology to the market that will prevent injuries related to repositioning patients and residents in wheelchairs and hospital beds. We care deeply about improving the quality of life for people providing care, and people receiving it.
VP, Marketing & Business Development
Carmen MacKenzie is a marketing and communications professional with 18 years’ experience building relationships, strategic partnerships and communications strategies and campaigns in the not-for-profit and health sectors.