2019 Mobility Product Awards
In an industry that comprises thousands of complex mobility, seating and accessibility products, components and accessories, what defines a Mobility Product of the Year?
For this first-ever Mobility Product of the Year campaign, we asked our judges (whose identities we’re keeping a secret) to consider a submission’s features and benefits, and whether the entry offered a significant or innovative approach or solution that demonstrates good to excellent understanding of the seating, positioning, wheeled mobility or accessibility challenges faced by today’s consumers.
Our sincere appreciation to all participants and to our judging panel. And of course, congratulations to the winners! (The following information was provided by the winning manufacturers/distributors.) — Ed.
Alltrack R3 Outdoor
The Alltrack R3 Outdoor is a hybrid rear-wheel-drive power wheelchair that’s an excellent choice for active people who like to spend time outdoors while still navigating comfortably indoors.
Why hybrid? Because it combines the best features of the mid-wheel model with those of the rear-wheel-drive model, all in one dynamic and stylish package.
The Alltrack R3 Outdoor takes the anterior and posterior stability, the short footprint and a tight turning radius of only 21.75" from the mid-wheel platform, as well as the tremendous outdoor performance, the high-speed capabilities, the directional stability and the style of the rear-wheel-drive platform.
It’s easy to see the advantages of this exclusive hybrid design. Its unique dual-suspension system, including an interactive 6-wheel suspension and a seat suspension, delivers exceptional stability, mobility and comfort for users who don’t want to compromise.
Amylior Inc., (888) 453-0311; http://amysystems.com/amysystems-alltrack-r-series
Encore Mobility Wheelchair
The Encore Mobility Wheelchair is the first hybrid DME wheelchair that specifically targets seniors in long-term and complex care via an optional dynamic rocking feature. The goal is to provide seniors with mobility and comfort while preventing falls and pressure injuries.
Ergonomically designed, Encore users can self-propel via front-mounted mag wheels, or pedal with their feet. The adjustable, hemi-style floor-to-seat height, paired with front-pivot seat tilt, provides proper foot-on-floor placement, which facilitates efficient movement. Broda’s combination of Comfort Tension Seating and up to 33° of infinitely adjustable tilt-in-space provides therapeutic pressure redistribution to aid in treating pressure ulcers and to manage pain to enhance its user’s comfort and safety.
Encore Mobility Wheelchairs come standard with mag wheels, a short back and universal legrest mounts. The optional caregiver-activated Dynamic Rocking feature can reduce depression, anxiety and the need for pain medication for users with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Broda, (314) 606-3038; https://www.brodaseating.com/encore/
QLK-150 Docking System
The next step in independent wheelchair securement, the QLK-150 personal wheelchair docking system was created to offer more options and features than any other docking system on the market.
Wheelchair drivers and passengers pay a premium for the freedom to drive, and they deserve a system that looks, feels and behaves like a part of their vehicle. The QLK-150 and its accompanying brackets are fully crash tested and iQ Certified to meet the requirements of the WC18 standard and be compatible with WC19 wheelchairs.
Q’Straint, (954) 986-6665; https://www.qstraint.com/?s=QLK-150
Leckey Squiggles+ Stander
The new Squiggles+ Stander provides even more functionality for children 1 to 5 years old. Squiggles+ has hip abduction to create a superior clinical approach to standing therapy.
This versatile three-in-one stander offers prone, upright and supine standing. Prone position provides anterior support and stability while encouraging weight bearing and use of upper extremities. Upright position is designed for users with good balance and trunk control who cannot stand independently. Supine position supports the back of the body while offering lateral and anterior supports to maintain alignment. Hip abduction is now achievable (60° bilaterally). Hip laterals shift in sync with the legs as they move through the arc of abduction. Larger, more comfortable medial knee supports distribute pressure, especially in abducted standing.
Ki Mobility, (715) 254-0991; https://www.kimobility.com/Product.action?productName=SquigglesPlusStander
Ethos is an ultralightweight, high-performance rigid wheelchair featuring a dual-frame design and patent-pending Isolation Technology (ISO Tech). ISO Tech creates an incredibly smooth and comfortable ride experience, while protecting the rider’s body from the onslaught of high-frequency vibration that would generally be experienced in a standard wheelchair design.
Interchangeable ISO Tech polymers create the opportunity to tailor the ride experience through varying densities so the ride can go from soft and supple to stiff and rigid. The dual-frame design elevates performance to rival that of a dual-tube rigid, while providing incredibly unique adjustability that no other rigid frame on the market can provide.
Ki Mobility, (715) 254-0991; https://www.kimobility.com/Product.action?productName=Ethos
standUP Maxx MPSS
The standUP Maxx Modular Power Standing System is an innovative, adjustable system that combines power standing and a full range of power positioning options in a package that provides a unique combination of independence, function and accessibility.
The standUP Maxx MPSS system provides up to 45° CG tilt, 178° of recline with Extended Shear Reduction (ESR), and 7" of seat elevation. Seat widths and depths are fully adjustable, with available widths of 16-21" and depths of 16-20". The knee block is designed to secure the user during standing and is angle and height/depth adjustable and removable. The system is available with a wide range of Motion Concepts’ accessories and Invacare Matrx Seating products, mounted via Ultra Rail and Ultra Track slotted interfaces.
Users can drive at reduced speeds while in the standing position. An anti-dive locking mechanism offers additional stability by locking front suspension arms as the standing function is engaged. When the system is not in standing position, the ROVI A3 power chair’s ARC suspension is fully functional for maximum performance and climbing capability.
Motion Concepts, (888) 433-6818; http://www.motionconcepts.com/index.html
MD Series Harnesses
Bodypoint’s new MD Series is an innovative redesign of its primary four-point shoulder harnesses and chest supports: the PivotFit, Trimline and Stayflex. These trusted products are now more versatile with the inclusion of a multi-directional (MD) pull strap at the top that works as a front-pull or a rear-pull, depending on the direction of attachment.
MD Pull Straps are easy to use and adjust, allowing the installer or caregiver to quickly set up and change pull styles to adapt to individual user needs, including different styles on different shoulders. Clinicians and dealers no longer need to know in advance what pull style is needed, so ordering is simpler. Wheelchair users are more likely to receive a positioning product that works the first time, with fewer compromises or rescheduled fittings.
MD Series harnesses are quality-tested for strength, flammability and cytotoxicity according to all applicable ISO and RESNA standards.
Bodypoint, (206) 404-4555; http://www.bodypoint.com/default.asp?LINKNAME=LITERATURE&Literature_ID=1578&nAction=GET
MyWay’s innovative design allows children to explore and interact in an upright position while developing the child’s walking and weight-bearing ability. When supported in MyWay’s wheeled frame, children can propel through their environment using their lower limbs, keeping their hands free to play and explore. The structure and comfortable postural support delivered by the MyWay harness work for children with a range of needs, including those with scoliosis or lordosis, those with low truncal tone and those who experience dystonic movements.
The MyWay harness provides a hug-like effect via the corset-style design, which can increase sensory feedback, dampen involuntary movement and provide comfort. MyWay’s completely open frame design encourages children to touch, feel, learn, discover and interact with peers. The open back allows therapists to work closely with the child and their limbs, helping to maximize the therapeutic benefits. MyWay can be fine-tuned with prone angle and shoulder height adjustments to achieve the optimum position specific to each child.
Ki Mobility, (715) 254-0991; https://www.kimobility.com/Product.action?productName=MyWay
Edge 3 Power chair with iLevel
The Edge 3 is designed to be the most advanced power chair experience ever. Upgraded SRS (Smooth Ride Suspension) provides a smooth, comfortable ride and advanced stability. Optional iLevel power adjustable seat height provides up to 12" of power adjustable seat height while driving at 4.5 mph. Standard features include front and rear LED fender lights, a USB charger, and drive wheel color accents. The Edge 3 is available in 19 color options, including seven bold colors.
Additional features include iLevel’s patented Extra Stability Technology, which enhances safety as the user transfers, reaches and performs other activities of daily living. It’s available with a WC19 crash-test-approved occupied transit kit option with captain’s seating, Synergy seating, and TRU-Balance 3 seating configurations. This power chair is made in America of foreign and domestic parts.
Quantum Rehab, (800) 800-8586; https://www.quantumrehab.com/quantum-power-bases/edge-3.asp
The Meridian dual-chambered, adjustable skin protection cushion is ideal for the prevention of sacral sitting. Users and caregivers value its low weight, comfort and ease of use. No pumps or accessories. No kneading or manipulation.
Therapists recommend the Meridian for users with motor and neurological dysfunction. They value the integral pre-ischial ridge and wedge effect created by the Meridian’s dual chambers.
Front and rear chambers permit quick and easy independent adjustment of the pelvis and thighs, as the client is seated. The rear chamber allows maximum immersion of the pelvis for better pressure distribution. The front chamber allows maximum loading of the thighs to reduce pressure on ischial tuberosities. The Meridian’s design promotes a neutral pelvis position, especially important for clients prone to extensor tone or thrusting. The thigh and pelvic chambers form a pre-ischial ridge to prevent ITs from sliding forward. Releasing more air from the pelvic chamber than the thigh chamber provides added postural support by creating dump or squeeze that “holds” the client in place.
VARILITE, (800) 827-4548; https://www.varilite.com/products_detail.aspx?prodID=6
Twin Headrest Hardware
Twin Headrest Mounting Hardware is truly universal. New options include a Flip mechanism and a Dynamic feature to increase the hardware’s range of function. A telescoping feature allows fine positioning of the headrest without tools to make adjustments more convenient for caregivers.
Twin Headrest Hardware with Flip+ moves the headrest out of the way quickly while staying attached to the wheelchair, eliminating misplacement. The spring-loaded locking collar is clearly labeled and easily slides to allow the headrest to move rearward. When locked, the vertical post is rigid with no wiggle.
The Twin Headrest Hardware with Dynamic+ provides tone deflection and controlled horizontal movement of the headrest. Force absorption protects the client and their hardware, and accommodates extensor tone. The spring tension is available in firm or soft and can be changed at any time without tools. The Dynamic+ feature can be turned on or off by turning the knob, providing a rigid or dynamic headrest mount.
The Twin with Forward Flex hardware has all the same great features as the Twin Hardware, then adds extended range so headrests can be mounted 17" (43cm) forward of the backrest. It’s ideal for accommodating a kyphotic posture.
Symmetric Designs, (250) 537-2177; https://www.symmetric-designs.com/headrest-mounting-hardware
The Tek Robotic Mobilization Device is not a wheelchair alternative, but a brand-new mobility platform that completely reimagines the way individuals with paraplegia and other walking disabilities are able to move in the world.
The ability to independently and safely sit, stand and navigate environments that were once inaccessible is now possible, safe and available. Tek RMD is a patented, CE Marked, and FDA 510(k)-cleared technology.
Matia Robotics, (801) 997-1812; https://www.matiarobotics.com
Softwheels integrate shock-absorbing spokes into a rigid wheelchair wheel. The result: the absorption of more than 75 percent of all energy transferred to the user’s body through the wheelchair frame from uneven surfaces, cracks, curbs, etc. Softwheel fits virtually any standard wheelchair axle mount, and reduces pain, increases comfort, and gives a greater sense of stability to manual chair users.
Series 3.0 is narrower, 25 percent lighter, features absolutely silent operation, and is also available for the first time in a carbon fiber version.
Unlike shock-absorbing wheelchair frames, Softwheel allows the weight of a suspension system (approximately 4 lbs. more in total for a set of two wheels over standard aluminum rims) to be integrated into a wheel. This allows active transfers to be relatively easy, as one wheel is only 2 lbs. heavier, instead of additional weight being added to the frame. This system also allows the user to use multiple chairs and simply transfer the shock-absorbing rims to another platform.
Softwheel Technology, (612) 670-3187; https://www.softwheel.technology
The Independence Drive electronics system combines proprietary software, a modified tablet computer and an eye-tracking camera to create a “virtual joystick” for power wheelchairs.
To operate the wheelchair, a user looks at the appropriate graphic on the tablet to move the chair in eight directions. Multiple safety features ensure that the chair stops when the user looks away, whether deliberately or unintentionally.
The Independence Drive concept originated when Steve Gleason, a former NFL player living with ALS, issued a challenge during a Microsoft hackathon in 2014. His idea was to improve technology so people with ALS and other disabilities would be able to move their wheelchairs by eye tracking. Microsoft then created a research prototype that demonstrated the feasibility of eye-controlled wheelchair navigation. That work inspired Gleason’s foundation, Team Gleason, to pursue developing a system to enable control of wheelchairs via eye tracking.
Evergreen Circuits, https://evergreencircuits.com
The Veloce, launched in 2018, is Motion Composites’ most technically advanced foldable model. The Veloce’s distinctive features include a unibody frame with symmetrical crossbrace, and integrated impact guards and bubble levels. It offers unparalleled adjustability at key points. Many wheelchair users fear adjustability, especially with folding models, because it can lead to looseness in the chair over time. The Veloce is made with only high-quality components, providing the user with very precise adjustability and sustained stability.
Veloce offers unrivaled strength and durability thanks to cutting-edge carbon fiber material. With superior fatigue resistance, extreme temperature tolerances and exceptional durability, carbon fiber is one of the strongest, lightest materials on earth.
No longer do users have to sacrifice the ease and simplicity of a folding chair for the performance of a rigid chair. Transfers and transport are easy, and the ride is second to none. With a transport weight of only 12 lbs. (5.4 kg), Veloce is one of the lightest folding wheelchairs in the world.
Motion Composite’s engineers created an entirely new type of wheelchair construction, inspired by the rigidity of box frames and the look and ride of cantilever frames.
Motion Composites, (866) 650-6555; https://www.motioncomposites.com/veloce
From the innovative DEX hardware to the one-tool adjustments and high-quality materials, Axiom Back eliminates choosing between form and function. The mounting clamp of DEX hardware takes up the least amount of space on the back post and works with all back post styles, sizes and tube diameters. Get independent height, depth and angle adjustment without moving the clamp on the back cane.
The indexing feature of the brackets allows simple symmetrical alignment. DEX Hardware makes it possible to adjust the back for proper fit with the rider in the chair. Receivers automatically inDEX the back into place. Simply push down, and you’ll hear an audible click. Dynamically transit tested to the WC20 standard, the Axiom Back provides secure support. Backs are built with high-quality, high-resiliency foam and revolutionary Darlexx fabric. The two-point mounting system gives you 2" of width, depth and 2.25" vertical adjustment before needing to move the hardware.
Ki Mobility, (715) 254-0991; https://www.kimobility.com/Product.action?productName=AxiomBack
CG Air Therapeutic Air Cushion
Through material and manufacturing innovations, the CG Air has revolutionized the therapeutic air cushion industry. The CG Air cushion has tackled hygiene and stability issues as well as cushion integrity, maintenance and positioning concerns that have plagued other cushions on the market for years, yet CG Air has not compromised on pressure management. Its improved benefits will provide users with the most efficient positioning as well as the best pressure management therapy in seating.
Proven to be a true pressure-relieving cushion, the new innovative air channels in the CG Air are designed to allow more air to move beneath the user in a smoother and more controlled flow to help stimulate blood circulation.
Amylior says CG Air’s medical-grade PVC is more stable, which allows cells to retain their shape rather than over-inflate. This PVC is not as yielding as other materials and won’t let the cushion splay, thus giving the user security through stability. The CG Air allows for total immersion as it actively creates an ischial well to help stabilize the user’s pelvis and prevents unwanted pelvic rotations. Dual valves allow for side-to-side and front-to-back positioning options.
Amylior Inc., (888) 453-0311; http://amysystems.com/cg-air-cushion
Meywalk MK4 Gait Trainer
The MK4 has a Lever Lift System that lowers to wheelchair-seat height to allow for ease in transfer and then raises to standing with minimal caregiver assistance.
Once upright, the Meywalk MK4 is a dynamic gait system with spring assistance and swivel seat to allow for a more typical gait pattern for consumers with poor balance and generalized weakness.
Pacific Rehab, (480) 213-8984; https://pacificrehabinc.com
This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Mobility Management.