At REHACARE 2016 from 28 September to 1 October, the wheelchair and walking aids industry is presenting new and upgraded products combining mobility with high standards of comfort, safety and good design. We introduce you to a small selection here.
Designed by Porsche
The medical and rehabilitation technicians of Bischoff & Bischoff GmbH, Karlsbad, are targeting the over-50s with their first lifestyle rollator, the Alevo. “We believe the time is ripe for advancing into the high-end sector with a walking aid,” explains Managing Director Thomas Bischoff. “Throughout their lives, today’s generation of rollator users has always attached a lot of importance to lifestyle products – beautiful cars, for example. And they want to use such products with advancing age as well.”
The walker developed in cooperation with Porsche’s Berlin design studio stands out with its unusual appearance and low weight of a mere 5.8 kilos. The weight reduction without compromising on safety or strength is made possible by carbon composite, a material familiar from aircraft construction and motor racing.
Thanks to its six different height settings, the practical Alevo adapts to its user’s height. It takes just a single manipulation to collapse it for transport. “It was our aspiration to create a product that users can be proud of, are fond of and are happy to integrate in their everyday lives,” Porsche designer Henning Rieseler explains. (Hall/Stand 6/A65)
Climbing aid for out and about
The mobile stair climber CR230 exhibited by Alber Antriebstechnik GmbH (AAT) from Albstadt, Swabia, also aims to improve comfort. Stairs and steps still pose a serious obstacle for many people. The CR230 is a stair climber with an integrated fold-down seat designed to carry people weighing up to 230 kilos. With just a few manipulations, it can be folded to a compact size so it fits easily in any car boot. On its most recently developed product, AAT is also integrating the ComfortStep function that ensures gentle touch-down during the climbing process and absorbs vibration. Previously only available as a prototype, the CR230 will be on show to visitors to REHACARE 2016 for the first time as a TÜV-tested version ready for series production and the market. (Hall/Stand 6/D20)
Seat coaching from a cloud
What has sitting got to do with extra mobility? For people entirely reliant on electric wheelchairs, a great deal. Hospital doctors advise users of electric wheelchairs with an electrically adjustable seat function to regularly change their sitting position. This way, physical strain and the complications caused by constant sitting can be prevented. The wheelchair can be used for longer, and activity is encouraged. But what happens when there is no one to prompt a change of position?
The solution is provided by the smartphone app Virtual Seating Coach (VSC) developed by the Swedish company Permobil in cooperation with scientists of the University of Pittsburgh, USA. The doctor draws up a treatment plan, which is then entered into the VSC cloud, where it can be changed at any time as required. The user always accesses the latest version via the app. If the sitting position is to be changed, the user receives a message on their smartphone. The VSC system consists of a USB charger and a telephone holder which, attached to the wheelchair, keeps the telephone constantly within the user’s field of vision. The app can be downloaded free of charge for iOS and Android, initially in English only. (Hall/Stand 6/A37)
Grows on you
Children are born with the urge to sit up, get up and go. Moving around, they can explore the world around them with their senses. A person who due to disablement is unable to move around in an upright position needs aids to compensate for this deficit.
The new “Boogie Drive” from Sorg Rollstuhltechnik is the first mobile standing device that grows with its user. It promotes the therapeutic concept of mobility in an upright position in early childhood and the right posture when standing. Because “the Boogie Drive” grows with the user up to a maximum user height of 1.70 m, it is suitable for therapeutic use from earliest childhood until well into adulthood. (Hall/Stand 4/G43)
A power of good
The unstoppable advance of the electric drive continues, and has made cycling a real pleasure for all. The revised Lepus model from Hase Bike, renowned in rehabilitation circles for its comfortable handling, has been optimised yet again and is now also available as a Pedelec, either with a front-wheel electric drive or alternatively with a Shimano Steps bottom-bracket drive unit. (Hall/Stand 5/G45)
HP Velotechnik also resorts to electric drive assistance on the move. The production plant in Kriftel in Hesse has improved its Scorpion plus series once again. The new Steps drive from Shimano is put to use here as well – combined with the fully automatic Di2 8-speed gear changer of the Japanese manufacturer. The motor analyses the rider’s pedalling behaviour and always chooses the right gear ratio. (Hall/Stand 4/G43)
About REHACARE INTERNATIONAL, Düsseldorf
REHACARE INTERNATIONAL is Europe’s foremost trade fair for rehabilitation and care. Some 900 exhibitors from 37 countries are meeting from 28 September to 1 October for their biggest trade fair event where they will present innovative products and services enabling people with disabilities, care needs and in old age to lead largely self-determined lives. REHACARE is open from Wednesday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Further information on admission tickets to the trade fair and congress can be obtained online at www.rehacare.de.
Düsseldorf, August 2016