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Technology Development Institute, GO Topeka partner to improve mobility equipment access for Kansans

Friday, Dec. 1, 2023



MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Technology Development Institute and GO Topeka have partnered to support a local physical therapy office that's working to increase access to mobility equipment for Kansas residents.

The Technology Development Institute, or TDI, in K-State's Carl R. Ice College of Engineering developed a new software tool to streamline the process of submitting claims to insurance companies for staff at Bloomfield Physical Therapy with the help of the Proof of Concept grant program from Go Topeka.

The physical therapists at Bloomfield Physical Therapy in Tecumseh help patients across the state work with insurance providers and navigate the process of obtaining wheelchairs or other mobility equipment to assist them during recovery and rehabilitation or for long-term care.

They collaborate with local equipment vendors and recommend the appropriate options to accommodate each patient's mobility needs. This process requires the therapists to work with assistive technology professionals from the equipment companies to develop detailed quotes justifying the requirements for the type of equipment being recommended, which can be a time-consuming and complicated process.

Joseph Bloomfield, owner of Bloomfield Physical Therapy, contacted TDI hoping to simplify this application process. Technology Development Institute engineers discussed the project and connected Bloomfield with GO Topeka's Proof of Concept grant program. Supported by that funding, TDI developed a software tool to simplify the process of securing equipment for patients.

"The process was extremely quick and thorough," Bloomfield said. "I contacted TDI in August with the project concept, secured project funding by September, and we had a completed system by November. Our customers and employees are excited about the use of the new system as it ensures that we are able to accurately justify and obtain the equipment that people need in a more timely manner."

Bret Lanz, commercialization director for the TDI, said working with the Bloomfield Physical Therapy team was a great experience.

"They were extremely knowledgeable regarding the process and the needs of the system. This makes our job much simpler to design the system properly the first time."

Stephanie Moran, senior vice president of innovation with Go Topeka, said the organization is excited that more local entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the Proof of Concept grant program as well as the technical resources that are in the state to support the creation and development of new businesses and technologies.

"We believe that as we continue to expand our Small Business Incentives Program, the number of new Topeka-based businesses will also continue to grow," Moran said.

According to Lanz, the institute has been able to expand partnerships and help small companies take advantage of resources that are offered all across the state through the K-State 105 initiative, the university's answer to the call for a comprehensive economic growth and advancement solution for Kansas.

The Technology Development Institute is a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration University Center. The institute provides a broad range of engineering and business development services to both private industry and university researchers to advance the commercial readiness of new products or technologies.

Media contact

Division of Communications and Marketing


Technology Development Institute

News tip

Tecumseh and Topeka.


Download the following photo.

Joseph Bloomfield

K-State's Technology Development Institute and GO Topeka have partnered to develop software that makes it easier for Bloomfield Physical Therapy to help patients access mobility equipment. Pictured above, Joseph Bloomfield, owner of Bloomfield Physical Therapy, attends a mobility equipment trade show.

Written by

Bret Lanz