Geoff Fernie

Geoff Fernie, PhD

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Inventing solutions to everyday problems

Geoff develops technologies for two broad purposes:
  • To prevent injury and disease
  • To help individuals and their family caregivers continue to live in their own homes as they age
He has maintained a focus on the reduction of falls through the development of innovative mobility products, non-slip winter footwear and improvements to accessibility and building codes. He has made significant advances in preventing hospital acquired infections by improving hand hygiene. His recent involvement in the development of a disposable instrument for home diagnosis of sleep apnea has the potential to significantly reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular complications resulting from untreated sleep apnea. Geoff has been responsible for many products that assist people's independence, including innovative wheelchairs and bathroom aids. Many of his inventions have reduced the physical burden of caring for people, including the prevention of back and shoulder injuries in professional nurses and family caregivers caused by lifting and moving people.
  • Selected patents
    • Hedman T, Fernie GR, Kostuik JP and Maki BE. Artificial Spinal Disc. US patent #4,759,769 filed 22 June 1987, issued 26 July 1988.
    • Lunau KR, Fernie GR and Reed SP. Safety Support Structure. US patent #5,056,753 filed 7 March 1989, issued 15 October 1991.
    • Fernie GR, Doyle BP and Kronich CG. Conversion kit for toilets of varying shapes. US patent #5,432,957 filed 25 January 1994, issued 18 July 1995.
    • Doyle BP and Fernie GR. Bathtub. US patent #6,145,140 filed 14 February 1997, issued 14 November 2000.
    • Fernie GR, Wilcox PJ and May PW. Nestable Wheelchair. US patent #6,315,306 filed 12 September 1997, issued 13 November 2001.
    • Fernie GR and Griggs GT. Motorized Chair Base. US patent # 6,179,076 filed 6 October 1998, issued 30 January 2001.
    • Levchenko OI, Hufton GC, Fernie GR and Sayed MK. Hand Hygiene Compliance System. US patent #8,237,558 filed 7 August 2009, issued 7 August 2012.
    • King EC, Sobchak AM, Griggs GT, Dutta T, Fernie GR and Wilcox PJ. Lifting Assist Device. US patent #8,128,065 filed 9 May 2007. issued 6 March 2012.
    • Griggs GT, Dutta T and Fernie GR. Powered Wheelchair. US patent #8,280,561 filed 9 September 2009, issued 2 October 2012.

Related Links

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Oct 7;:
Rizvi R, Anwer A, Naguib HE, Fernie G, Dutta T
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2015 Aug;2015:5416-9
Hummel R, Bradley TD, Fernie GR, Chang SJ, Alshaer H
Ergonomics. 2015 Nov 10;:1-12
Hsu J, Shaw R, Novak A, Li Y, Ormerod M, Newton R, Dutta T, Fernie G
Appl Ergon. 2016 Jan;52:275-84
Novak AC, Komisar V, Maki BE, Fernie GR
Appl Ergon. 2015 Sep;50:218-25
Hsu J, Li Y, Dutta T, Fernie G
J Hosp Infect. 2014 Oct 31;
Srigley JA, Gardam M, Fernie G, Lightfoot D, Lebovic G, Muller MP
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014 Sep;35(9):1189-92
Muller MP, Levchenko AI, Ing S, Pong SM, Fernie GR



Professor, Department of Surgery, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
Faculty, Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto
Cross-Appointed Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto