2017 Best Picks Selections

Every spring, after complex rehab technology (CRT) manufacturers have finished their early-year product launches, Mobility Management asks readers for their Best Picks.

Best Picks logo

Assistive technology professionals (ATPs) and clinicians specializing in seating and wheeled mobility are invited to name their CRT favorites and the reasons behind those choices. Mobility Management does not furnish participants with a ballot or list of eligible products, so ATPs and clinicians are free to name any currently available power wheelchair, manual wheelchair, seating system, wheelchair seat cushion, backrest, stander, alternative driving control, positioning component, etc.

Manufacturers and distributors are not allowed to nominate their own products.

The results give insight into what industry professionals cherish. Engineering prowess. Adjustability. Durability. Aesthetics. The ability to tackle a long-time challenge from a different perspective. The opportunity to improve efficiency in a clinic. Of course, a way to improve a range of outcomes, from clinical to lifestyle to transportation.

Mobility Management shares the results in its annual July Best Picks issue, which has become an industry favorite, and a source of pride for Best Picks winners.

Mobility Management Group Publisher Karen Cavallo said, “Once again, this year’s Best Picks demonstrate complex rehab’s continuing dedication to maximizing function and independence for people with mobility-related disabilities. We admire their efforts and look forward to their future innovations. Congratulations!”

Editor Laurie Watanabe added, “We ask a really straightforward question: Which CRT product has solved challenges for you in the last year? Many times, we hear that ATPs and clinicians are excited about new products, which is understandable. But a lot of Best Picks have been around a while. We leave the door open for time-tested, tried-and-true CRT that continues to deliver at a high level.”

Here are select Best Picks from 2017. Mobility Management’s next Best Picks edition gets started in spring 2018.

Comfort Company's Acta-Relief

Acta Relief Backrest The all-new Acta-Relief integrates the flexible, adjustable BOA closure system that allows the back to offset the center of pressure and better remove pressure points from the spine, so equal and stable pressure distribution is accomplished in an “off-the-shelf” back design. The Acta-Relief is available in 16”, 18” and 20” widths and 18”, 20” or 22” heights.


Invacare Corp.’s Matrx MX2 Back

Matrx MX2 backA great product just got even better! Motion Concepts is excited to announce the introduction of the Invacare Matrx MX2 back. According to Judy Rowley, VP Seating and Positioning for Invacare, “The MX2 has taken back support for active users to a whole new level. It is astonishingly lightweight, starting at 1 ½ lbs. including hardware. But what really sets it apart from all of the competitors is its solid carbon fiber construction, not only in the back shell, but now also in the hardware. This provides suspension and vibration reduction for the most comfortable ride ever. Many users report significant decreases in tone, spasms and pain since using the MX2. Truly a life changing product.” Contact your Motion Concepts or Invacare representative for a product demonstration.


MAX Mobility’s SmartDrive MX2+

MX2 Plus The SmartDrive MX2+ is an elegant, lightweight power-assist device. The new PushTracker band combines fine grained SmartDrive control with activity monitoring, giving greater freedom to chair users than ever before. Visit Max-Mobility.com to learn more."


Motion Composites’ Helio C2

Motion Composites Helio The Helio C2’s outstanding performance and unrivaled lightness have positively changed how people think about wheelchairs. With a transport weight of only 12 lbs. (5.4 kg), the Helio C2 is at least 9 lbs. (4 kg) lighter than any other wheelchair in its category and designed to help the user go farther. The innovators at Motion Composites have truly stepped up performance and brought down weight so the user actually expends less energy to propel. The result? Amazing gain in mobility, while reducing the risk of chronic shoulder and joint injuries.

The efficiency in this product begins with its symmetrical X-Frame cross brace and one-piece side frame. This reduces weight and distributes forces equally throughout the frame for superior energy transfer and propulsion. And with a vertical axle plate to shave even more weight and decrease wheel flex, the user gains even more ease of use.

So whether the Helio C2 is being pushed, propelled or lifted it into a vehicle, this “Best Pick” means more freedom. It’s what a folding wheelchair should be.


Motion Concepts’/ROVI’s X3 Maxx

ROVI X3 pwc ROVI was born from an idea of pushing conventional thoughts aside and considering all the possibilities, without reservation. It was the bringing together the collective strengths of many… not just a few.

From inception, Motion Concepts and ROVI have worked side by side to create a truly exceptional wheelchair design. Both companies are driven by years of experience and a mutual passion to further their clients’ independence, comfort and function. The result of this extraordinary partnership is a power wheelchair system that combines the outstanding performance and stability of the ROVI X3 base with Motion Concepts’ Ultra Low Maxx seating system — the industry’s most modular power positioning system outfitted with award-winning Invacare Matrx Seating Solutions.

The ROVI X3 power base boasts the narrowest wheelbase in the industry at 23.25” along with easy service access to critical electronic components and strong performance through Active Ride Control (ARC) suspension. The center-wheel drive ROVI X3 power base also features GP34 batteries and a unique chassis configuration for more stability and less overall width.


Rifton’s Pacer (Medium)

Rifton Pacer mediumGait training has come a long way since Rifton introduced its first model in the 1980s. And over the years, Rifton customers have given thousands of suggestions that have helped improve the company’s designs. The newly redesigned Pacer, now available in medium, large and X-large sizes, reflects the accumulated experience of the therapists who’ve worked with Rifton over the decades.

Pacer’s most exciting new feature is dynamic weight-bearing and weight-shifting capability, which helps users achieve a healthier gait pattern than is possible with a conventional gait trainer.

Rifton also addressed the challenge of transfer into the Pacer with the height-adjustable Multi-Position Saddle that makes it far easier to assist a client in the transition from sitting to standing. The new Pacer is a modular system made up of an upper frame and a choice of bases, and there are two new base options — a large-wheeled utility base for uneven terrain, and a treadmill base.

With all these improvements, the Dynamic Pacer accommodates clients of every ability, in every setting.


Switch-It’s MicroGuide

SwitchIt Micro Guide control MicroGuide is a light-touch proportional power wheelchair drive control: The further the joystick is deflected, the faster the chair will go. The device gives the user the ability to operate their wheelchair with 360° of control as well as the full range of the wheelchair's drive parameters (speed, acceleration, etc.).

MicroGuide is ideal for clients who require the sensitivity of a light-touch drive control as well as the feedback of joystick displacement. MicroGuide works with many mounting options, the most popular being armrest and the Switch-It BDN harness for chin control. Many power wheelchair users will enjoy greater independence when using the MicroGuide.

Metal construction offers significant durability advantages. MicroGuide works in a plug-and-play fashion and is compatible with most manufacturers’ electronics. Included with every MicroGuide is a 1” breakaway knob, foam tip knob cover and mini cup knob cover. It can be ordered with a built-in mode “smart” jack, which allows for mechanical or electronic switches to plug into the jack. The Switch-It MicroGuide is the perfect addition to Switch-It’s Mini Joystick product line, which also includes the force-based isometric style MicroPilot, giving the industry two great choices when sensitivity and durability are required.


Rolling Dynamics, Rolling Resistance &  Optimizing Wheeled Prosthetics