"Assistive devices help to actively join the meal"
"Assistive devices help to actively join the meal"
We asked Arthur Blom, CEO, Assistive Innovations bv
There are various different kinds of auxiliary means at REHACARE. And the drinking and eating aids are definitely among the popular ones. With its assistive devices the company Assistive Innovations bv from the Netherlands wants to help people with different disabilities to become more independent with eating. CEO Arthur Blom tells REHACARE.com more about classic and new products.
Which eating and drinking aids are among your most popular classics?
Arthur Blom: Difficult to say which one is most popular because all our models have very different target groups. The iEAT Light Grip is designed specifically for people with reduced muscle strength as a result of a muscular disease, neurological disease or spinal cord injury. Which is completely different from the iEAT Power Grip, designed specifically for people with involuntary muscle contractions, spasms or cerebral palsy. The third version of the iEAT, the iEAT Robot, is an electronic eating device and offers people with severe disabilities a chance to eat on their own. The most distinctive feature of the iEAT-series is the compactness of their design. They are all lightweight (less than five kilograms), easy to setup and take along.
All our eating devices help people to become more independent and they increase their quality of life. They allow the user to actively join the meal, instead of being dependent of others. But not just that, they also help with posture – allow people to sit upright while eating – and this benefits the digestive system.
What new products do you have up your sleeve – maybe also at REHACARE 2019?
Blom: We launched a new arm support, called the iFLOAT NG Dynamic, on June 16th. This is the first arm support in the new NG series. With the iFLOAT NG Dynamic the user is able to control the level of support electronically instead of manually, which means it will always be exactly as needed. The amount of support applied is controlled with an external button (single or dual) or integrated in the wheelchair control.
A new and unique feature is the Rest-mode. In Rest-mode, no force is applied by the iFLOAT system. Allowing the user to safely park and get out of the iFLOAT, without having to use a parking system.
Another new feature and significant addition is the Memory option, which allows the user to set and save the preferred amount of support. This saved setting is called a ‘Macro’. Activating the Macro-setting is done with the regular control buttons, so no additional controls are required.
The support segments of the ergonomic arm brace have a modular setup, allowing it to be completely customized to the user’s personal preference. The washable covers of the segment provide soft padding andprevent chafing and irritation of the skin.
Optional wrist and/or hand support are also available for the iFLOAT NG Dynamic.
At REHACARE 2019, our enthusiastic team will be available to answer all questions, demonstrate our devices and show people what can be achieved with an assistive device. As mentioned before, we introduced the first arm support from the new NG-series last June. The second will be introduced at this year’s REHACARE. I would recommend keeping a close eye on our Facebook page and website for more information!
The iEAT Light Grip has been specially developed for people with reduced muscle strength due to muscle diseases, neurological diseases or spinal cord injuries. You can find out more about the eating aids and other products from the Dutch company at REHACARE.
What do customers have to consider?
Blom: We mainly focus on people with diminished arm, hand and finger function or strength. When someone is interested in of our devices, we help them determine:
What they would like to achieve with an assistive device
What their physical capabilities are
Whether their desire and capabilities match one of our assistive devices (which they almost always do)
An important quality of our devices is the ‘stepped care’ concept, which means that every assistive devices offers increasingly more support in order to match to the progress of a person’s needs/disease. For example: in the early stages of a certain disease, the iEAT Light Grip or iFLOAT Arm support might offer sufficient support. But due to a person’s situation getting worse, more support is required. We would then be able to provide them with either an iEAT Robot of the iFLOAT Powered Assist, which offer significantly more support. Finally we would be able to provide them with our robotic arm, the iARM, which allows people who have very little physical capabilities to function independently through the use of an assistive robotic arm attached to their wheelchair.
Whether an assistive device suits a person is always a matter of personal preference, physical capabilities and also acceptance. So about 90 percent of all our customers a genuinely happy with our assistive devices and even more so with the capabilities they regain. With the remaining 10 percent our devices require some sort of minor modification, which we gladly do for our client. In some cases, people are not yet ready to use an assistive device. This has to do with the fact that some people are just not ready to accept the fact that they need to use assistive devices. All feedback received is taken into account and possibly used in future development.
What does inclusion mean to you?
Blom: We help people become more independent. From our perspective, being independent and inclusion are closely linked. Being more independent, means a person is able to work on bridging the inclusion-gap from their end. Increasing inclusion means bridging the gap from the other end and also allowing people to become more independent. All means to an end in order to increase independence, self-dependence and suitable care.