09/14/2016

Assitech AS

Introducing AssiStep, the Stair Assistant from Norway

AssiStep – the Stair Assistant

Every year, only in Norway, 50 people die and 30.000 get injured from falling on stairs. For elderly and people with reduced mobility, stairs can become difficult obstacles in the home. However, stairs are also the best exercise opportunity in the home, particularly for people that struggle with climbing them.

 The AssiStep is a new "Stair Assistant", which gives its users the extra support and safety to climb the stairs themselves. Originating from Norway’s top technical university, NTNU, the product is designed and engineered in close collaboration between physio- and occupational therapists, users and product designers.

-  My motivation for developing the AssiStep, was actually my own grandmother, says co-founder Eirik Medbø.

-  After she had suffered from a stroke, she really needed help in order to get down the stairs and out from her apartment, so my whole family have been "Stair Assistants". When we later started working with the stair issue as university students, I instantly understood what a big issue the stairs could be to the users.

The product consists of a handrail which is installed along the stairs, coupled to a handle which the user slides in front of him/her, that provides support and security. The handle can be folded in towards the wall, and the rails are modular, and can handle both straight and curved stairs.

-  We have focused on making the product as versatile as possible, says Halvor Wold, CEO. Stairs are different, especially in old houses. Some stairs are straight, some have turns, the walls are different, and some have difficult finishes in the top or bottom. That’s why we have developed the handrail as a modular rail, with straight rails, turns and different angles.

The AssiStep was launched in Norway last year, and launched in Sweden earlier this year. The reception of the product has been good so far.

-  We get really good feedback from our users, says Wold. – Our customers are both public institutions who use it as a safety for stair exercise, as well as for installation in private homes, to help people stay mobile and independent in their homes.

 
With the aging population, there is a need to think smarter about how we offer aid for people with reduced mobility. More people grow older, needing help for longer, which again would require more resources. If we continue to solve problems in the same way that we do today.

-  When we first designed the AssiStep, we were inspired by walkers, or rollators. They are fantastic products, keeping millions of people on their feet and walking, instead of ending up in a wheelchair, says Medbø.

-  The same way, we want more people to be able to continue climbing the stairs themselves. The stairs give the best exercise in the home – and if we want people to stay independent, it should be our top priority to help people use it for longer. Because our most important assistive device in life, is our bodies.

-  Helping to strengthen the body is really the best way that we can offer assistance, he finishes.
 
The AssiStep will be shown at Rehacare in Düsseldorf, as the first trade fair outside of Scandinavia. They come to Rehacare to meet and discuss market opportunities in different countries or regions with distributors.

Exhibitor Data Sheet