CRT Technology Showcase

Zing Portable: Standing Here, There, Everywhere

Altimate Medical has introduced a pediatric stander with a wide range of clinical benefits in a compact, easy-to-transport footprint.

After a pandemic year marked by isolation and exclusion, everything about the Zing Portable says inclusion.

Zing PortableStanding & Positioning Right on Time

While the Zing Portable will immediately turn heads because of its transport-friendly design, make no mistake: This is a full-featured stander.

“A big must-have was abduction,” said Nancy Perlich, Funding & Reimbursement, Altimate Medical. “Studies have shown that the earlier you get children standing, the less likely they are to have issues with improper musculoskeletal development as they grow/age. So part of the design was based around uncompromised standing in abduction.

“Another big want was to have the stander do both prone and supine [positioning] — but as simply as possible, without compromising proper positioning. We felt two separate uppers — prone- and supine-specific trays with upperbody supports — met the criteria. As a result, changing between supine and prone is two knobs: one to change the upper-body support and tray, and one knob to reverse the footplate.”

The Zing Portable is designed for young children from infancy to 3 years and up to 36" tall. It has a weight capacity of 36 lbs., and has no minimum height or weight requirement.

“There is greater window of opportunity standing kids young to help achieve musculoskeletal hip development,” said Perlich. “Starting at about 9 months old, typically developing children start to pull to stand, cruise furniture, and walk, all of which helps to develop the acetabulum of the hip. Studies support the need for ongoing hip surveillance in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Surveillance programs enable early identification of hips at risk and allow for conservative preventive treatment of positioning the hip in extension and abduction in a weight-bearing position, which may result in lower incidence of dislocation and pain in children with CP.

“If this window is missed, the need for surgical hip intervention increases; this is especially true for children with GMFCS [Gross Motor Function Classification System] levels IV and V.”

So while early-intervention standing perhaps gets less press than general early-intervention mobility, there are many reasons to encourage on-time standing.

“In addition to the range of motion and hip-alignment benefits, standing has been shown to improve strength and motor skills in children,” said Perlich. Getting kids up standing — those who are unable to stand like their peers — will benefit by strengthening their body for the best functional outcome. In early intervention, this can be the primary goal: to improve strength and gross motor mobility, with many kids only needing the assistance of a stander shorter term to help them develop motor skills faster. We know that movement and exploration help build cognitive skills, and standing gives the child a different position and visual field to learn from their environment while building their strength.”

Nearly Flat-Folding Tripod

The challenge for Easystand engineers: Build robust positioning capabilities into a stander that sets a new bar for easy transportability. The premise: Real-world portability can be key to how often a child can use the stander and how well the family will adhere to standing recommendations from their therapist.

The Zing Portable’s tripod-style design features three foldable legs to achieve nearly flat folding. The stander weighs less than 20 lbs. and includes a carrying handle. That handle, plus the Zing Portable’s balanced weight design, makes the stander easy to lift and transport.

“From the mechanical design standpoint, ‘folding and lightweight’ was a big departure from our more traditional lineup of standing equipment,” said Perlich. “We sensed this need for professionals involved in standing programs, where travel and visiting between facilities and homes can be the rule rather than the exception.”

For young clients, Zing’s true portability can mean the difference between standing regularly or not.

“Parents and other single-user scenarios will also greatly benefit from this portability, enabling patient and caregiver to easily transition between locations,” Perlich said. “There are also not many pieces of equipment that move well up and down stairs or to the ‘bonus’ rooms in multi-level homes, and the Zing Portable does this with ease. Its ability to fold and tuck away is such a huge deal for families in small housing. This removes the I don’t have enough room for another piece of equipment from the ‘con’ column.”

Standing Where the Action Is

Boy in Zing Portable reading book“We also knew that most therapy for children ages 0 to 3 was done outside the clinic, in the home, and that therapists would be more likely to start standing earlier if they had a product that was easy to transport, adjust and use,” Perlich noted. From a family’s perspective, a stander that is portable and easy to use is more likely to see action, even when the family is traveling.

“Portability expands where and when the caregiver can stand the child,” Perlich said. “The Zing Portable can be brought along on trips and outings unlike any other stander. It can be brought along while visiting relatives, on vacations, trips to the park, any myriad of possible places to stand. Parents can also take it to and from a day program or daycare a few days a week. No longer is standing relegated to one room or level of the house. The design helps the stander fit into a family’s life rather than trying to fit standing into theirs.”

Imagine an annual vacation to the family cabin in the mountains. Imagine a toddler standing in the Zing Portable beside a campfire while eating s’mores. Or standing in the Zing Portable during movie night with the cousins. And standing in the kitchen to help Nana make her famous sugar cookies. Ultimately, the Zing Portable’s greatest feature might be how seamlessly it fits standing into the many environments of a child’s life.

This article originally appeared in the May/Jun 2021 issue of Mobility Management.

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