Best Picks: Selections from 2018
Each year since 2011, Mobility Management has asked seating and mobility professionals to name their Best Picks in the complex rehab technology (CRT) field.
Assistive technology professionals (ATPs) and clinicians are invited to nominate CRT products that are their go-to favorites or new CRT that has impressed them. Any currently available CRT power or manual wheelchair, seating system, seating components such as cushions and backrests, standing frames, electronics and alternative driving controls, positioning component, etc., is eligible, and any ATP or clinician can make a nomination (though manufacturers and distributors are not allowed to nominate their own products).
Mobility Management collects nominations, but does not supply a ballot or offer a list of potential nominations.
What makes a product a Best Pick? Best Picks participants cite a wide range of reasons for nominating a product, from durability and consistency of results to aesthetics, engineering processes, and the all-important ability to fine-tune and fit a product to a client’s particular needs. ATP and clinician comments are featured in Mobility Management’s annual Best Picks special issue in July.
Karen Cavallo, Group Publisher of Mobility Management, said, “Our readers’ Best Picks selections offer illuminating insight into the technology and factors that are most important to today’s seating and wheeled mobility professional. We celebrate this year’s Best Picks and the contributions they make to consumers with disabilities.”
“Every year, we are enlightened by our readers’ Best Picks,” said Executive Editor Laurie Watanabe. “We thank the ATPs and clinicians who gave their time and shared their opinions, and we congratulate the manufacturers and distributors who made this year’s list.”
Here is a selection of 2018 Best Picks as named by the readers of Mobility Management.
Ki Mobility Axiom SP Visco & SP Fluid
Ki Mobility’s Axiom line comprises a family of products engineered with a “Best in Class” approach that the manufacturer refers to as the Science of Seating. Axiom cushions feature such design elements as Directed Loading and Surface Tension Reduction using pre-contoured shapes, high-quality materials and superior cover design.
The Axiom SP Fluid (pictured left) was designed to provide increased immersion so the trochanters can bear an effective load, which widens the base of support while reducing the load on the ITs. The SP Fluid cushion uses a Hydrolite fluid bladder in place of viscoelastic foam, and the bladder is directly under the super-stretch outer cover, which allows it to confirm to tissues supporting the ITs.
The Axiom SP Visco (pictured right) provides increased immersion so the consumer’s trochanters can bear an effective load. The result is improved stability gained by widening the base of support and reducing tissue load supporting the consumer’s ischial tuberosities (ITs). A thick section of specially designed viscoelastic foam deforms to immerse and envelop the ITs. As a result of anthropometric design, this segment also features two small areas under the ITs where foam has been removed to facilitate further immersion into the cushion.
Both cushions are available in widths from 14” to 22”, and depths from 14” to 20”.
For more information on the Axiom Fluid or Axiom Visco cushions, visit the Ki Mobility Web site.
Ki Mobility Liberty FT
Tilt-in-space positioning meets independent propulsion and true portability in Ki Mobility’s Liberty FT. That’s because the Liberty FT was truly built for independent mobility, particularly via foot propulsion. The chair’s front seat height remains the same, regardless of tilt positioning, so the consumer can find the optimal tilt angle that allows them to foot propel while maintaining pelvic stability.
The Liberty FT also provides repositioning for relief from sitting in a static position. Whether tilt is being used for pressure relief, to facilitate optimal posture, or to just provide a little help when dealing with the effects of gravity, the Liberty FT makes tilting easy. Gas springs can be adjusted to accommodate the user’s weight to make tilting and repositioning effortless. With a transport weight of less than 26 lbs., this chair offers the lightest adult tilt-in-space design that folds easily for transportation (choose the optional folding backrest to provide an even smaller package). The Liberty FT is available in seat widths from 14” to 22”; seat depths of 14” to 20”; seat heights of 13” to 20”; a weight capacity of 250 lbs.; and a tilt range of 0° to 20°.
For more information, visit the Ki Mobility Web site.
Invacare Matrx Elan Headrest
The Invacare Matrx Elan Headrest is now available with a new Small 4-Point Pad. This compact, formable and lightweight headrest pad offers the ability to achieve a precise, individualized fit for clients ranging from pediatric to adult.
Choose from the standard Adult (15” post) or Mini (11” post) according to your particular application. Further fine-tune the fit by choosing a standard (three sizes) or occipital (two sizes) style with 4-point pads (large and small sizes) to provide sub-occiptal and temporal support and ear clearance. Co-molded, dual-firmness Matrx HR foam comes complete with Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial additive. Hardware includes six points of adjustment to provide an infinite range of positioning opportunities. The headrest also features extra-strong and durable multi-disk locking plates; aluminum plates that can be formed to the desired shape; and a zippered, moisture-resistant, breathable Startex or Infection-Control (reverse Startex) cover.
The Invacare Matrx Elan Headrest, available from Motion Concepts, has a single-tool setup for convenience (and optional tool-less adjustment levers included for ease of position changes). The Elan’s pads are 45-percent lighter than competitive pads.
For more information, visit the Motion Concepts Web site.
Stealth Products I-Drive 4.0
Stealth Products’ i Drive system is still the most advanced power wheelchair drive control to date! Designed around a proprietary Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the Advanced Programming Software (APS), this combination of hardware and software brings state of the art technology to the alternative drive control industry. Used in combination the new LOONZ video game, the I-Drive alternative drive control can be used for power wheelchair driver training and assessment.
For more information, visit the Stealth Products Web site.
Stealth Products Ultra Head Support
The Stealth Products SU (Stealth Ultra) Head Support supplies solutions to your most clinically challenging positioning issues. This system uses two support surfaces in combination with unique adjustment capabilities to supply maximum occipital and proximal lateral cervical support.
The Ultra (combined with the TWB links) allows adjustment to asymmetrical postures and deformities. This system is designed to independently support the occipital and sub-occipital regions; supply anterior, posterior, rotational, and angle adjustment of both pads independently; and easily accommodate the addition of positioning components and accessories to provide other clinical interventions as needed according to each unique client.
For more information, visit the Stealth Products Web site.
Sunrise Medical R-NET Advanced Joystick
Environment Control Units (ECU) were chosen as a 2018 Best Pick, and Sunrise Medical’s R-net Advanced Joystick gives power chair users the control to master of their environments.
Available on select QUICKIE power wheelchairs, this ECU has a large, easy-to-read display — the largest in the market. The simple-to-control paddle switches allow for intuitive operation and the ability to control a power chair and connect to numerous devices via infrared and Bluetooth wireless technology.
Connect and control up to four devices. Consumers can use a joystick like a remote control for their TVs and select home entertainment systems, control their phones, computers, tablets and all Bluetooth devices with this useful option. This ECU is conveniently compatible with Android and Apple iOS devices. Program the function of any button on the R-net Advanced Joystick to any command desired, thanks to QUICKIE assignable buttons. Consumers can also assign a second (long press) function to buttons, giving them quicker, simpler and smoother access to functions they commonly use without having to use their joysticks. With so many programming options and the large display, the R-net Advanced Joystick can be easily customized to fit consumers’ specific needs to provide control at the touch of a button.
For more information, visit the Sunrise Medical Web site.