Latest & Greatest Assistive Technology to Move You
What makes assistive technology successful? Why are some assistive technology
products just adequate while others become indispensable?
In complex rehabilitation technology — the healthcare technology field that
focuses on proper positioning and optimal mobility — the key ingredient to
success is often customizability. Simply put, that means a product can be fitted, built or
adjusted to meet the unique needs of its user. That’s important because everyone is different
from a physical standpoint, and also has different goals, takes part in different activities, and
experiences those activities in a range of environments.
Our 2017 Latest & Greatest presents examples of complex rehab technology that embrace
their users’ unique qualities to help maximize their independence, safety and quality of life.
Forward Is the New Backward
You may already know that many wheelchairs, both manual and powered ones, are capable
of tilting backward, which can be very effective in redistributing a wheelchair user’s weight to
avoid pressure injuries or to help the person feel more stable while sitting up and moving.
Clinically, that backward movement is known as posterior tilt, and it’s not a new concept.
But the complex rehab industry is now incorporating anterior, or forward, tilt into some
wheelchairs as well. Why? Think of all the instances when leaning forward is helpful, such as
when brushing your teeth, eating at a table or working on a computer.
Anterior tilt can also be helpful when transferring out of a wheelchair onto a bed, commode
or other sitting surface.
The Elevation manual
wheelchair enables increased
and comfort for active users.
Elevation enables users to embrace
daily activities in a number of different environments. This
uniquely designed wheelchair combines a gas-strut suspension
and an ultralightweight frame to provide dynamic seat height
and an on-the-fly adjustable back angle that can be instantly
adjusted according to what the user wants to accomplish, from
functional reaching during activities of daily living to safely and
smoothly ascending or descending ramps.
Permobil’s front-wheel-drive F5 Corpus
boasts a smaller footprint with an
improved center of gravity, a more
rigid chassis, fully independent
oil-dampened suspension and a lower
seat-to-floor height. A new three-point
tilt and seat elevator system provides
solid stability and performance.
Corpus seating offers 14" of seat
elevation and anterior/posterior tilt.
Optional anterior tilt is available in 10°, 20° and 45° to facilitate
transfers and reaching, while maintaining 50° of posterior tilt.
The new Corpus system retains favorite features, such as arc
legrests, an open armrest design, and UniTrack System.
A Heightened Perspective
Seat elevation — the ability of a power wheelchair seat to move
upward, then back again to give its user a range of seat heights —
isn’t a new technology, either. But it’s getting more appreciation
these days, especially thanks to advances in power wheelchair
base stability that enable the power chair user to drive the wheelchair
while remaining elevated.
The social and emotional benefits of seat elevation are often
mentioned in clinical discussions, since face-to-face and
peer-level conversations are so important to effective learning
and communicating at any age. But clinicians also point out
that seat elevation can reduce the strain of neck and shoulder
muscles, which can be overtaxed when wheelchair users
constantly have to look up or reach up from seated heights.
And on a safety level, power chair users who are elevated while
moving through crosswalks or on sidewalks can be easier for
automotive drivers to see.
Consumer and clinician inspired,
TRU-Balance 3 power positioning
systems with iLevel technology are designed
to provide the ultimate in complex rehab
seating and activities-of-daily-living
functionality, including iLevel elevation
with Extra Stability Technology
on the Q6 Edge 2.0, Q6 Edge Z and Q6 Edge
HD power wheelchair bases. Featuring modular tilt,
recline, elevation and an articulating foot platform, TRU-Balance
3 offers easy tailoring of seat depth, width, back height, multi-axis
armrests and center-of-gravity adjustment to dial in exactly what
each user needs.
An Incredible Lightness of Being
For wheelchair users who self propel, efficiency is everything.
And in ultralightweight manual wheelchairs, frame weight is
often discussed as the ultimate efficiency factor — even a few
pounds can make a cumulative difference when pushing that
weight or lifting it into the back seat of a car.
But wheelchair designers, engineers and clinicians will tell you
that a wheelchair’s weight is just one part of the efficiency equation.
A wheelchair’s overall fit, where its user sits, the angle of the
seat and backrest can all make an enormous difference in how
efficiently it can be propelled. Because of that, today’s ultralight
chairs aren’t just made with space-age materials. They’re also
designed to intimately fit its user’s particular needs, preferences
Designed to optimize ride, reduce
weight and provide optimal
stability and performance,
the new APEX Carbon uses
state-of-the-art carbon fiber
to produce a frame that is
lightest in class as well as
durable and adjustable. With
a special rigidizing system, the
APEX delivers the smooth ride
you expect from carbon fiber, but also increases lateral stability
and responsiveness. APEX’s carbon fiber is molded to precise
specifications and tested to ISO and ANSI/RESNA standards.
APEX Carbon has a transport weight of 9.2 lbs. to facilitate
The new TX Series 2 ultralightweight
the power and style of
a rigid design with the
convenience of a folding
one. The titanium dualtube
TiFit frame offers
durability, while side-toside
folding provides a slim
folded profile for easy transportation.
The TX Series 2 is available in seat widths of 12-20" and seat
depths of 14-20". Every TX2 is made specifically to accommodate
and fit the sizing and needs of its particular and unique user.
Its 7000 series aerospace
aluminum, heat treated using
ShapeLoc technology, is the
heart of the new 7 Series’
that has thinner, lighter-weight tubing along
with increased strength.
The 7R allows quick backangle
adjustments throughout the day, while
the 7RS has a fully rigid backrest and axle plate to further reduce
overall weight. The new Freestyle Backrest System provides 360°
of upper-body motion.
Welded caster head
the need for an
adjustment in a
of the Top End
the long haul. This
specially designed high-performance frame endures the rigors of
everyday use and provides a smooth, efficient ride for active users
who need their wheelchairs to keep up with all they do.
Just for Kids
Clinicians, parents and forward-thinking assistive technology
engineers will tell you that children are not just scaled-down
versions of adults. So taking an adult-sized product and
shrinking it usually doesn’t result in the best fit or function.
The brightest pediatric ideas instead focus on meeting the
unique needs of kids, including “growability,” the capacity of a
wheelchair or seating system to be adjusted to fit as a child grows
taller or gains weight. The most appealing assistive technology for
kids also pays close attention to aesthetics.
The Recaro Monza Nova 2 Reha
booster seat for automotive travel
offers supportive positioning
for kids with special needs.
It features adjustable lateral
supports, a full-range positioning
harness and a unique swivel base
accessory for safe and convenient
transfers. Other accessories include
a tray, footrest, seat-depth extender
and seat wedge for 15° additional
recline. And yes, this is the same
Recaro famous for automotive and
racecar safety seating.
Thomashilfen North America
Standing has been shown
to help with many bodily
functions, from breathing
to digestion. The Zing MPS
transitions easily from flat
to load to upright and prone
positions in just one motion.
No need to reposition or flip
the footplates, pads or trays
when moving from a supine
(facing up) position to prone
(facing downward). And Zing
MPS offers up to 30° (or 60°
bilateral) of independent
leg abduction. This stander is available in multiple sizes, and
the Zing line is available in multiple configurations to meet the
unique standing needs of its users.
EasyStand/Altimate Medical Inc.
The Little Wave Flip pediatric
tilt-in-space chair was
created to make mobility
for very young children
more natural for the entire
family. Integrating design
elements from strollers into a
durable wheelchair, the Flip offers
more than 500 color combinations (at no
charge) and uses a new paradigm in adjustability to embrace a
child’s growth. With fewer parts, seat height, depth and width
have never been so easy to change. The tube-in-tube seat rail
design is modular to allow those changes to be made without
replacing parts. The Little Wave Flip is WC19 approved for use
as seating in an automotive vehicle.
Have a Seat & Lean Back
Despite their relatively small sizes, seat cushions and backrests
play critical roles in wheelchair seating systems. They can keep
users well positioned in their wheelchairs and can also help
maintain optimal weight distribution. Today’s wheelchair seat
cushions and backrests are composed of many different materials
and come in many different designs but they all have the same
goal: To help consumers get the best out of their rides.
A fully automatic, self-contained
alternating cushion system, the
Softech operates very much the
way an alternating support
surface does. All system
components are integrated into
the cushion, so there is no separate
control box. All areas of the
client’s posterior receive pressure
redistribution as many as 60 times an
hour, to provide pressure relief similar to doing a pressure lift. The
battery-operated system runs for more than 40 hours per charge
and is custom-built to each client based on locations of current
pressure injuries and unique client needs. Since the systems are
hand-built, Aquila can provide a cushion of any size.
The Hybrid Elite SR cushion combines the skin and soft-tissue
protection and Shape Fitting Technology of a ROHO DRY
FLOATATION cushion with the stability of a contoured foam
base. The shape-fitting cushion air insert provides critical pressure
redistribution, allowing for immersion of the entire pelvis.
This cushion is now Sensor Ready, allowing it to easily connect
with ROHO’s exclusive Smart Check device that helps ROHO
users to confirm that their cushions are optimally inflated.
Contouring depths and location are fully customizable on the
Tarta Original back, thanks to an array of interchangeable ribs.
The Tarta Original is made of harmonic steel central plates
that construct the spine; composite vertebrae; a breathable
AirMesh cover; high-resiliency foam in all pads; and lightweight
aluminum ribs. This design allows for an infinite height range
(standard heights are 8-14") and outstanding breathability — not
to mention sleek, minimalist aesthetics.