CRT Technology Showcase

Q-Logic 3 Electronics: Ready Now & for Whatever Comes Next

We expect mainstream manufacturers to say they design products to be intuitive, and it’s a nice buzzword. But realistically, if our new smartphone or coffee maker doesn’t work exactly as we anticipated, we adjust and move on with our lives (and our coffee-making).

It’s far more complicated for complex rehab technology (CRT) manufacturers, whose users are limited in their abilities to adapt. To an able-bodied smartphone user, scrolling through a few extra screens is no big deal. But needing to do the same to operate a power wheelchair can literally cost a client his or her independence.

The most successful CRT isn’t just intuitive. It also anticipates what every stakeholder needs, from consumer to clinician to ATP.

Introducing Q-Logic 3 with iAccess

With its January launch, Quantum Rehab’s Q-Logic 3 power chair electronics system seeks to do exactly that — address advanced electronics needs of consumers, clinicians and ATPs with next-gen functionality.

Asked about its highlights, Jay Doherty, OTR, ATP/SMS, senior clinical education manager for the Eastern United States, rolled out a list of features and upgraded functions engineered to streamline stakeholder experiences across the board, from the clinician doing an evaluation in clinic, to the consumer using a power chair for hours every day, to the ATP or technician adjusting the electronics as a client’s needs evolve.

At the top of the highlight reel, Doherty describes iAccess, a new module that enables clinicians and ATPs to fine-tune preferences and functions on a whole new level. There are four rocker switches on the unit, and “It allows up to 19 functions to be accessed through the module,” Doherty says. “Those functions are programmable. If you change the function that’s on a button, the LED picture that’s on the iAccess changes as well. So it coincides with what the function is.”

He notes that iAccess is “very customizable” to each consumer’s needs and preferences. For instance, if you order a Q-Logic 3-equipped power chair with power tilt, recline and iLevel, Quantum’s power adjustable seat elevation system, those functions are programmed in at the factory. “But you can switch where they’re located [on the electronics system] to make it easier for the individual,” Doherty says.

And Q-Logic 3 features a “home key” — more on that later. “If somebody can’t access the home key on the hand control, we can program one of the [iAccess] buttons as a home key or a mode key,” Doherty says. “We have a lot of customization that can be done. They could have a shortcut key to enter their Bluetooth mouse screen and have mouse clicks on each button as well.”

iAccess has the ability to operate on multiple levels or “pages” to maximize the total number of functions available. “As they change pages, the functions would change,” Doherty says. “That’s how you can have up to 19 functions on one iAccess. Most people probably won’t use that, but the fact that they could is pretty significant.”

Programmability in the Real World (& Clinic)

When a system offers that degree of configurability — it could be hard to find two Q-Logic 3-equipped power chairs exactly alike — the question of efficiency comes up. How do all those possibilities work in the timecrunched world of therapists and ATPs, where client changes are either a possibility or probability?

For starters, Q-Logic’s basic programming process is familiar and quick, Doherty says: “On the programming station, you click on an icon, drag it over to the button on the screen and drop it. It’s a drag and drop.”

CRT professionals can even choose how to program the system: “It can be programmed two ways, either through the hand-held programmer or with our new programming station.”

A new feature called Clinic Mode was designed to help clinicians and ATPs make the most of the scant time they have to perform evaluations.

“For a demo chair, when you’re using it for evaluation, you just set it to Clinic Mode,” Doherty says. “Hold the on toggle forward for about six seconds. Once the screen flashes, you release it, and it automatically takes you into a screen that says Clinic Mode. Clinic Mode allows you to program an initial starting point for whatever input device you’re using, such as a proportional chin control through the enhanced display, or a head array through a SCIM module. This allows you to program it with input commands on the device without a programmer. It’s a quick, easy way to get a basic setup of a specialty control on the system.”

The Q-Logic 3 designers were especially sensitive to the evaluation environment, when therapists are expected to make quick, yet optimal assessments.

“It’s designed to make evaluations more time efficient,” Doherty says. “If you have two back-to-back appointments and the first one is with a proportional chin control and it doesn’t go well, you may need to switch to a head array. You can shut the chair off, turn it back on using Clinic Mode [and set up the head array]. As long as you have the input device, you can set it up quickly.”

Clinic Mode can be quickly enabled during evaluations and will be disabled on Q-Logic 3 power chairs provided to consumers.

“Sometimes in evaluations, you think we’re going to go down a particular path, and that’s not the path you eventually take,” Doherty says of the challenge of determining the optimal driving controls for each client. Clinic Mode “gives you the opportunity to further tweak the system for the person. You can hook up a programmer and do the programming.”

Other improvements for clinicians: “As far as Bluetooth goes, we will have the ability to connect to multiple devices. With Q-Logic 2, if you have two devices that need mouse access, in order to access the second one, you have to unpair the first one, which didn’t work out well. With Q-Logic 3, we now have the ability to link multiple devices with the system. When they go to their Bluetooth screen, the list of devices comes up, and they can choose which device they want to access. It’s a simple setup for a user.”

Also, “We can have up to six input devices on a chair at once. You can have a specialty control with an enhanced display. You can have a specialty control with a SCIM module. You can have a sip and puff, a single-switch scanner, an attendant control and a hand control all on the chair at once. For evaluation purposes, that can be really efficient and effective because you can have things set up ahead of time, program it and swap a device really quickly. Time is of the essence during an evaluation.”

Meet Them Where They Are & Where They’ll Go

Q-Logic 3’s display and joystick

Close-up view of Q-Logic 3’s display and joystick.

Other new features include the previously mentioned home key (think: smartphone/tablet shortcut) on the hand control to “access their driving parameters, their seat functions, their auxiliary menu or their settings. Just a hit of the button and a movement of the input device,” Doherty says. The idea is to shorten the number of key clicks or commands needed to get back to the home screen — a function that saves time and can be critical for clients needing to conserve effort and energy.

Q-Logic’s single-switch scanner now can be customized: “People can use preset single-switch scanning layouts or customize them to the individual’s needs,” Doherty adds. “So they can control how the scanner is going to scan.” Q-Logic 3 is also “teachable.” For instance, a client can “teach” a left double tap to a head array, and the system will remember that timing when operating the system.

The Q-Logic 3 was designed to keep clients fully informed and to let them take the lead. Q-Logic 3’s power positioning screen includes animated arrows to show in which direction, for instance, the chair is tilting. Clients can choose among six colors for their background screen to maximize visual contrast…or just to see more of their favorite color.

Q-Logic 3’s iAccess system

Q-Logic 3’s iAccess system takes customization to new heights.

That level of customizability creates an interesting result: Q-Logic 3 is so individually configurable that its reach is virtually universal.

“With the expanse of customization that can be performed with Q-Logic 3, I can’t think of a group of consumers that would not benefit from it,” Doherty says. “For folks with progressive conditions, we have a lot of options for switching input devices, so I think that will make it easier to transition from one input device to another. There are some folks who have to switch input devices in the middle of the day, and I think the transition can be made a lot easier with this system. Those who struggle with a large number of menus can also benefit from some of the new features.

“Truly, with the expandable electronics that Q-Logic 3 offers, even someone who just uses a standard joystick will find that the home key or iAccess could really enhance their life. And for people with progressive conditions to be able to modify a system, so it can continue to meet their needs, is huge.”

Meet Q-Logic 3 in person at March’s International Seating Symposium, booth 224.

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Mobility Management.

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