NSM Named Exclusive U.S. WHILL Model M Distributor
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Jul 26, 2017
National Seating & Mobility (NSM) is the new American distributor of WHILL’s Model M power wheelchair.
In a July 24 announcement, NSM said it signed an agreement to become the sole distributor of the device in the United States. The Model M has U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval as a power chair.
NSM CEO Bill Mixon said in the announcement, “We are proud to be the exclusive U.S. distributor of the Model M power wheelchair. The partnership with WHILL provides a new option for some of our clients and is a great addition to our product offerings for our growing AccessNSM clientele as well.”
AccessNSM is NSM’s new home accessibility business division, co-located at some NSM complex rehab technology branches. NSM said the Model M would be sold by both NSM and AccessNSM.
Satoshi Sugie, WHILL’s CEO, said of the new agreement, “We’re excited to have NSM’s clinical experts providing product evaluations on the Model M, ensuring the chair fits and meets the versatile needs of their clients.”
WHILL was an exhibitor at NSM’s annual symposium in Nashville earlier this month.
The Model M is designed to support more involved mobility equipment users. For instance, Model M features a “rehab” seat cushion, described on WHILL’s Web site as “skin protecting.” Model M also offers more backrest options and has four-point tiedowns for transportation in an automotive vehicle.
Model M does not, however, have powered seating options such as tilt or recline. The WHILL Web site says Model M is “partially reimbursable by Medicare and private insurance” if its consumer qualifies.
WHILL’s other chair, the Model A, has a general-use seat cushion made of foam and has fewer backrest options as well as shorter range (12 miles vs. Model M’s 15 miles on fully charged batteries). Model A is not FDA approved as a wheelchair, and WHILL refers to it as a personal mobility vehicle.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.