Watervliet, N.Y. – The Center For Disability Services (CFDS) hosted a ribbon cutting at its Health Innovations Incubator & Technology Center (HII Tech) Tuesday. Opened in 2019, HII Tech focuses on developing new products and defining best practices to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities and older adults. Through product development and applied research, HII-Tech is helping people to achieve more independent lives.
During the event, organizers showcased several products at various stages of development including a revolutionary, patent-pending oral hygiene product that allows caregivers to brush teeth more comfortably and efficiently, improving oral hygiene and overall health. A clinical trial for the oral hygiene product will commence this summer.
Projects are led by HII-Tech Director Dr. Eric Ledet, who for more than 10 years helped the Center develop new technologies as a volunteer. Last July, Dr. Ledet left his faculty position at RPI and came to work full time for the Center.
“HII Tech is an opportunity to help a population of individuals who have significant needs and yet are often marginalized. It’s an opportunity not just to serve the population that the Center for Disability Services traditionally serves, but to serve a much larger – and growing – population of elderly individuals,” said Dr. Ledet. “We are at the very beginning of what we expect to be a lasting journey. A journey where challenges become opportunities and opportunities become solutions. A journey that will be local in genesis but global in impact.”
The incubator’s prototyping and fabrication facility is staffed by professional engineers, fellows, and interns. The fellows and interns who conduct research and develop products include graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school students from the Capital Region.
“These products will be game changers for individuals in our community, those that live with us, and those who live at home, to be more independent and continue to improve their quality of life,” said Greg Sorrentino, president and CEO of The Center for Disability Services.
The event also recognized the CAP COM Cares Foundation and SEFCU who are supporting HII Tech with contributions to the Incubator.
“We appreciate all who have supported the research and development component of the Center, and we look forward to continued success in improving the lives of the people in our community and around the world,” said Sorrentino.
About The Center for Disability Services: The Center for Disability Services is one of upstate New York’s largest providers of programs and services for individuals who have disabilities. Founded 80 years ago, the Center serves more than 12,000 persons annually, providing support for over 300 different disability diagnoses in over 80 locations.