Rick Graver, Medtech Services: I was impressed with the FlexStep Compact (LiftUp, liftup.dk), which is a staircase and wheelchair lift in one. This product is unique in that it works like a regular staircase when it is in the up position, but it has the ability to transform into a wheelchair lift/home elevator that will raise and lower. On the rehab side, the new Crossfire T6A ultralight manual wheelchair (Top End, topendwheelchair. com) has a unique independent seat frame that can be adjusted without having to adjust the front caster angle. These features are designed to increase push efficiency, save time on setup, and increase performance.
Cody Verrett, ATG Rehab: On the power mobility side, I was most impressed with Quantum’s new Q6 Edge (quantumrehab.com). They have packed it with standard features and it performs outstanding, while remaining sensitive to reimbursement challenges. Quantum Rehab has done a nice job with this product.
As for manual mobility, I was very impressed with the new reclining feature Invacare (invacare.com) is developing for the Solara manual tilt. The shear reduction feature is impressive and completely unique to the industry.
Another interesting developing technology I reviewed was from Frank Mobility (frankmobility.com). They have in development a software program that illustrates the difference in force and frequency a manual chair user applies to the handrims during propulsion with and without the power assist feature. This type of technology may eventually help objectively justify to funding sources the medical necessity of such a device and the potential long-term benefits to the consumer.
To better explain the FlexStep — a four-step staircase
that converts into a vertical platform lift — its Danish
manufacturer distributed flip-books that
showed the conversion.