More Bariatric Choices!

Survey Respondents on What New Products They’d Like to See

While seating & mobility providers and clinicians are generally happy with the range of technology choices currently available, they would love more choices for clients weighing 350 lbs. or more.

That’s what respondents to Mobility Management’s recent readership survey said when asked their opinions about today’s seating & mobility products.

We sent survey invitations to Mobility Management’s subscribers who provided their e-mail addresses.

Of the respondents:

39.3 percent were either a rehab technology supplier (RTS) or a clinician specializing in seating & mobility. Another 11.2 percent were executives (owner/president/VP/GM) of a business specializing in complex rehab technology.

Other participants were executives of mobility businesses (12.4 percent), mobility sales reps (11.2 percent), service/repair technicians (6.7 percent) and funding/billing specialists (5.6 percent).

46.1 percent of respondents said they are ATPs.

78.6 percent of respondents work for companies with one to four locations. 11.2 percent said their companies have more than 10 locations.

For various product categories, we asked if providers intend to buy more in 2011 vs. 2010, less or about the same amounts. Participants indicated they expect to increase their purchasing in a number of complex rehab categories, with seating components leading the way.

Q: For each category, indicate wheather you will buy more items in 2011 vs. 2010, fewer items or about the same number.

  More in 2011 Fewer in 2011 About the same in 2011
Seat cushions 43.2% 8% 39.8%
Bariatric mobility (350 lbs.+) 42.5% 9.2% 34.5%
Powered seating systems 41.4% 8% 27.6%
Ultralights 40.2% 4.6% 37.9%
Bariatric seating (350 lbs.+) 39.5% 10.5% 33.7%
Manual seating systems 39.1% 6.9% 37.9%
Seat backs 38.8% 8.2% 40%
Pediatric mobility 33.7% 11.6% 27.9%
Electronics 32.9% 7.1% 35.3%
Consumer power chairs 32.6% 23.3% 30.2%
Pediactric seating 30.6% 9.4% 31.8%
Tires / wheels / handrims for manual chairs 29.9% 6.9% 47.1%
Custom-molded seating 24.1% 9.2% 35.6%

What sorts of products would clinicians and providers like to see more of? The bariatric and pediatric categories stood out.

Q: For each category, indicate whether you think more choices are needed, or if current product selection is adequate.

  More choices
Current selection
is adequate
Bariatric mobility (350 lbs.+) 60.5% 26.7%
Bariatric seating (350 lbs.+) 58.1% 27.9%
Pediactric mobility 34.9% 40.7%
Pediatric seating 33.7% 38.4%
Electronics 24.7% 52.9%
Powered seating systems 24.7% 52.9%
Seat backs 24.7% 55.3%
Manual seating systems 21.4% 59.5%
Seat cushions 21.2% 63.5%

Q: Within the last 18 months, which new products have you been most impressed with?

Permobil standing wheelchair…

Pride power bases…

FlexStep, the most innovative…

The first thing that comes to mind is the GoShichi truck conversion. All new products in the vehicle mobility industry are impressive, because it gives the consumer more choices…

Otto Bock C2000. It is a great new outdoor power chair…

Pride’s Select Elite: Its looks are better than the Select…

microAir True Low Air Loss mattress, Invacare…

Spark and Little Wave from Ki Mobility…

Miller’s dynamic articulating footrest, and the Snug Seat XPanda…

Quickie Pulse 6 power wheelchair…

Xtender by Sunrise Medical: Reduction of repetitive stress injuries…

Pride Jazzy 614HD fits a growing demographic and is a reliable product…

New to me: VARILITE backs…

Kidwalk, Prime Engineering…

FreeWheel attachment: Useful, clever, looks great, priced right…

Dégagé rocker back and low-shear manual recline: These features have been needed for a long time. Freedom Designs’ NXT is a lighter-weight, folding tiltin-space wheelchair…

Invacare Insignia wheelchair: More options included, easier to adjust, tool free. Cost effective!…

Quantum Rehab Shape back: Ease of mounting and adjusting…

General-use seat cushions and backs: They have become a better product and work better under Medicare coverage guidelines, which means end-users get a better finished product…

ElDorado lowered-floor van conversions…

VARILITE Icon back…

Not sure if they are all new products or if they are just “new” to me:

1. Healthwares Retract4 swing-away joystick bracket: Ease of use and multiple application/uses.

2. Comfort Company Vicair Cushions as well as the Arm Trough with Elevating/Swing-Away Hardware: Easy to adjust cushion, maintenance free, easy to keep clean. Hardware allows for multiple positioning.

3. Permobil M300 Corpus 3G: Incredible versatility and easy to makedjustments to seating system, lots of standard options without upcharge.

4. Special Tomato Multi-Positioning Seat: Mobile, impermeable to fluids, wipes clean, height-adjustable head cushion, angle-/height-adjustable footplates, seat removable and also functions as car seat.

5. Leckey Kidwalk: Provides trunk/hip/head support, allows rotation and maintains balance, allows for movement in system while encouraging upright balance, transportable, support removable as child progresses.

6. Bodypoint Hip Grip: Helps to maintain pelvic stability while allowing pelvis to perform anterior and posterior functional movements, ability to work with any wheelchair, keeps pelvis neutral.

7. Motion Concepts Power Elevating Calf Panel: Gives option to bariatric and severe edema population that standard legrest options will not accommodate.

8. Columbia Spirit Car Seat: Has growth availability and can go up to 66" tall. SA trunk and hip supports.

9. Quantum Q6 Edge: Made improvements to the base, seems to have best attributes of all Quantum chairs included, works with several applications, numerous adjustments and options available standard.

— Survey Respondents

This article originally appeared in the May 2011 issue of Mobility Management.

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