Latest & Greatest Assistive Technology to Move You

assistive technology productsWhat 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.

Elevation Ultralight ChairThe Elevation manual wheelchair enables increased function, independence 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.

PDG Mobility
(877) 323-9093

F5 CorpusPermobil’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.

(800) 736-0925

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.

TRU-Balance 3Consumer 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.

Quantum Rehab
(866) 800-2002

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 and environments.

APEX CarbonDesigned to optimize ride, reduce weight and provide optimal stability and performance, the new APEX Carbon uses state-of-the-art carbon fiber manufacturing technology 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 vehicle transfers.

Motion Composites
(866) 650-6555

The new TX Series 2 ultralightweight chair provides 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.

(800) 545-2266

7000 seriesIts 7000 series aerospace aluminum, heat treated using ShapeLoc technology, is the heart of the new 7 Series’ ultralightweight frame 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.

Sunrise Medical
(800) 333-4000

Top End Crossfire T7AWelded caster head tubes eliminate the need for an adjustment in a high-impact area of the Top End Crossfire T7A, thereby preserving performance for 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.

Invacare Corp.
(800) 333-6900

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.

Recaro Monza Nova 2 Reha booster seatThe 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
(866) 870-2122

Zing MPS standerStanding has been shown to help with many bodily functions, from breathing to digestion. The Zing MPS (Multi-Position Stander) 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.
(800) 342-8968

Little Wave FlipThe 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.

Ki Mobility
(800) 981-1540

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.

Softech cushionA 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.

Aquila Corp.
(866) 782-9658

Hybrid Elite SR cushionThe 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.

(800) 851-3449

Tarta Orginal backContouring 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.

Stealth Products
(512) 715-9995