Best Picks 2012

ATPs & Clinicians Share Their Favorites

They are inspired; they are simple. They are revolutionary, or they are so “common sense” and so needed that when they’re unveiled, complex rehab technology providers, physical therapists and occupational therapists sigh, “At last!”

They are products that solve problems.

And once again, we’ve gathered them together here — seating, positioning and mobility products hand chosen by ATPs and clinicians.

This is, of course, a subjective list. We asked ATPs which products they were excited about — products that had answered a particularly challenging problem, or products they’ve depended on over and over. Recommending, building and fitting seating & mobility equipment is, by definition, a highly personalized and customized task — and more than one “right answer” is certainly possible.

Nevertheless, the ATPs participating in this year’s survey were unquestionably passionate supporters of the products they chose.

Here, in their own words, they explain their choices. And maybe their experiences will make you a believer, too.


Quickie 2 Lite

Quickie 2 / Quickie 2 LiteAnother example of improving upon what has been the standard, the Quickie 2, for so many years. Nicer aesthetics and a lighter weight than the original built into the design along with enhancements to some accessories, like the front riggings and the singlepost, height-adjustable armrests.

— Ryan Hagy, MOT, OTR/L, ATP, United Seating & Mobility

Sunrise Medical
(800) 333-4000
sunrisemedical.com


Axion Rotary Interface

Axion Rotary InterfaceI feel so bad for kids and young adults that I see with bald spots on the back of their heads from rubbing on the headrest. I think, “How long would it take for a nondisabled person to wear the hair off their head, and how it must feel?”

The rotary interface will alleviate this, and still give proper head support. It can be adjusted for the amount of turning you require for each individual.

Also, people that require a headrest — but in turning their heads, fall out of position and can’t get back to that position — can also be helped. The headrest can rotate with them.

Such a simple idea that has been needed for so long.

— John Zona, ATP, CRTS, Lakeview Medical Inc.

Symmetric Designs
(800) 537-1724
symmetric-designs.com


Java Adjustable Back Support

Java Adjustable Back SupportI think they have once again gone outside the box with the new design. We, as clinicians and suppliers (I am both), often have to modify many of the other aftermarket backs to “relieve” sacral pressure. It is not an uncommon problem. With this design, they have done this for us. Great thinking!

— Mala Aaronson, OTR, ATP, CRTS, National Seating& Mobility

Ride Designs
(866) 781-1633
ridedesigns.com


22" & 24" SmartWheels

22I know these aren’t new, but they are new to me in my clinic, as I’ve only had them since January. I have been able to see and show my patients so much objective information about how they propel their wheelchairs with this technology. From getting initial propulsion data to comparing chair setup or new chairs to old ones, I’ve been getting some interesting information, especially in pediatrics.

— Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa

Out-Front
(888) 832-1829
outfront.com


Corpus 3G Seating

Corpus 3G SeatingIt is an excellent example of improving an already great seating system. The comfort the seating system provides the end user is amazing. The built-in adjustability, particularly in the armrests, allows for the seating system to be set up to meet the client’s individual needs.

— Ryan Hagy, MOT, OTR/L, ATP, United Seating & Mobility

Permobil
(800) 736-0925
permobil.com


Jenx Monkey Pediatric Prone Stander

Jenx Monkey Pediatric Prone StanderThe Monkey off ers prone standing with a continuous range of standing angle adjustment, and can be adjusted while the child is using the Monkey. The Monkey is fun, it doesn’t look medical in nature, it is easy to adjust and has a great range for growth.

— Rick Graver, ATP, CRTS, Medtech Services

Patterson Medical
(800) 323-5547
pattersonmedical.com


Aluminum Backs

Aluminum BacksI have had a lot of success with the Aluminum Back series from Accessible Designs. I daresay it is probably the lightest aftermarket back available. I do a lot of titanium ultralight chairs, and the last thing I want to do is to sacrifice support for weight. The people at ADI, being ultralight chair users themselves, are sensitive to this and meet our need time and time again! I have had them do several different custom designs and cuts with great success every time. The custom modifications do not delay the orders, and all three levels of support are within the necessary price allowable. This is a great product for a huge variety of applications.

— Mala Aaronson, OTR, ATP, CRTS, National Seating & Mobility

Accessible Designs Inc.
(210) 341-0008
adirides.com


Twist

TwistThis chair is great. It comes standard with 2" of seat width and 3" of seat depth growth in the frame without having to purchase additional parts. You can easily adjust both the front and rear seat height as needed.

Like the other Ti chairs, center-of-gravity adjustments and other adjustments are easy as well. The addition of their standard composite wheel locks, the new lightweight DASH Wheel, and other optional components really make this a great choice for many of my kids.

— Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa

TiLite
(800) 545-2266
tilite.com


Articulating Foot Platform

Articulating Foot PlatformThe newly redesigned articulating foot platform delivers unmatched adjustment, durability and strength for a variety of client needs. The articulating foot platform accepts a wide range of leg sizes, has multiple calf pad options, and has a broad articulation range for enhanced adjustment and a wider selection of options for patients.

Quantum Rehab
(866) 800-2002
quantumrehab.com


Permobil Head Array Control System

Permobil Head Array Control SystemHead array technology has been around for many years, but has changed very little. This new head array system (pictured here with egg switch) has revolutionized head array technology, providing functionality, which will be beneficial to the clients using it, as well as the suppliers and therapists adjusting it!

Unique features include maximum adjustability in two different lengths of “arms” that telescope to extend/retract as well as rotate to achieve ideal positioning for head supports or access for switches. These arms do swing away for transfers, but have a unique system in place to also make the supports “rigid” —removing excessive play that is common with any swing-away hardware.

Two proximity sensors in the back pad improve access by increasing the target area and also allow for improved veering to the right or left.

Six switch ports built into the back of the headrest allow for quick and easy connection of any switch with 1/8" plug (including the proximity switches of the head array) to be used to operate on/off , mode, forward, reverse, right, left.

Permobil
(800) 736-0925
permobil.com


Dyno

DynoI have not had much experience with this yet, as it is just being introduced — but I’m really excited about it! Our beloved, “all-heart” Wayne Hanson is at it again. His new company, Xplore Mobility, introduces three more stroller/ wheelchair models with his ingenious dynamic seating technology! I am most excited that he has combined the three-wheeled “jogger-style” frame with really good supportive seating and dynamic components to give us the new Dyno, and it’s even WC19 crash tested already! Many parents of kids with disabilities and I have been asking for this product for several years now. I think it’s going to be a real winner.

— Mala Aaronson, OTR, ATP, CRTS, National Seating& Mobility

Xplore Mobility
(888) 575-9225
xploremobility.com


Custom Ultralights

Custom UltralightsWe like that we can have a chair made to exact specifications, and the customer can look at a full-scale CAD drawing of the chair prior to ordering. On the TiLite Web site, the customer can make picks including wheels, casters and color to see what the chair will look like. (Pictured here: the TiLite Aero Z.) Having more information for the experienced user to review makes the ordering process easier.

— Rick Graver, ATP, CRTS, Medtech Services

TiLite
(800) 545-2266
tilite.com


MicroPilot Mini Joystick

MicroPilot Mini JoystickThis miniature joystick only requires 10 grams of pressure to activate the chair. This offers proportional control to many individuals who have limited movement and would otherwise need to look at a different access method. This is a product that will interface with a variety of expandable electronics available in the industry.

— Jay Doherty, OTR, ATP/SMS, Quantum Rehab

Switch-It
(800) 376-9888
switchit-inc.com


Tone Deflector for Headrest

Tone Deflector for HeadrestThis option serves two main functions: absorb and avert. This intuitive design absorbs quick-impact compression and averts these forces 10° in either direction through slanted angle loading. This hardware is essential for any person with high tone and especially for those with strong extensor tone. This component is important for two main reasons:

First, it minimizes the impact of strong tone against a stationary support to shield the consumer from absorbing that impact.

Second, by absorbing and averting the impact, there is less stress on the head support and hardware — increasing durability and avoiding the need to make frequent adjustments or to tighten up bolts that have worked loose from repetitive forces.


— Amy Morgan, PT, ATP, Permobil

Stealth Products
(800) 965-9229
stealthproducts.com


Granstand III & Kidstand III

Granstand III & Kidstand IIIMy choice for a stander that can work with kids (ages 7 and up) and adults (even those with hip, knee, pelvic and spinal deformities that are fixed or flexible) is the Granstand III/Kidstand III from Prime Engineering. This model was designed by a person with a SCI so clients with some dexterity could get in and out of the device on their own. As a PT, utilizing that same methodology means I don’t have to lift the client to place the pelvic harness in position.

The seat sling/pelvic harness has been designed so that I can easily place it under the client and easily attach it to the lift mechanism for them if they do not have the function to do it themselves. All the lifting is easily done with the hydraulic pump without any eff ort on my part.

When it’s time to get back into the chair, this unit allows me to make sure the client’s hips and pelvis are all the way back in the chair, exactly where I want them, and also allows me to make adjustments to their position without having to lift them or physically reposition them.

My back loves this product, as it does the lifting and does not require transfers or my lifting of the client! It’s also great for users who have such severe contractures that standing may not be an option in any other device. With the more involved client I can actually have them up and stretching and create a progressive standing program to gain the best results. This unit is the only unit I am aware of that has the capability to grow with a young client of 3 feet tall or over until they are fully grown adults, which makes this a great product for limited insurance funding .

— Ginny Paleg, DScPT, MPT, PT

Prime Engineering
(800) 827-8263
primeengineering.com

This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Mobility Management.

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