Wheeleo®: the walking aid for stability and autonomy
Wheeleo®: the walking aid for stability and autonomy
We asked Gregory Vanderveken, Co-Founder & CEO Wheeleo® (by InnoRehab)
The new generation walking aid companion? The Wheeleo® feels like a never-ending guardrail and accompanies you everywhere you go. With its one-handed design the Wheeleo® helps regain autonomy while supporting movement in everyday situations. For example, it enables grocery shopping, opening doors and walking the dog. It also reduces the risk of falling, is easy to transport and has an elegant design.
With the Wheeleo®, many everyday things are possible again, such as independent grocery shopping.
Mr. Vanderveken, the Wheeleo® is an innovative mobility device. What makes it unique?
Gregory Vanderveken: If you have difficulty walking, the most common assistive aids are the cane and the 4-wheel walker. However, the cane does not help 50 percent of the time because it must be lifted to move it, and the 4-wheel walker requires mobilization of both hands to use it. Moreover, these aids are very stigmatizing, so many people do not want to use them.
The Wheeleo® is a complete revolution compared to what existed on the market before. There are two main reasons for this: The first reason is that the Wheeleo® provides assistance that no other assistive aid provides. The combination of constant support – you don't have to lift it while walking but can lean on it while moving forward – and the availability of one hand for daily activities is unique. Its small size allows the user to move safely in the tightest spaces. Especially since the Wheeleo® is very handy and easy to use.
The second reason concerns the image that the Wheeleo® conveys. One of the main reasons for refusing to use a walking aid is fear of the image we give to others. No one wants to appear diminished or weak. The Wheeleo® is the answer to this problem. It is a beautiful object that the user does not have to hide. The user can be proud to move with it because they have found a solution that combines safety, fluid movement, ease of use and elegance. The Wheeleo® completely revolutionizes the image that mobility aids convey. The cherry on the cake is that the Wheeleo® is produced in Belgium by people with disabilities.
The Wheeleo® brings autonomy and support in everyday situations.
For whom is the Wheeleo® a useful aid?
Gregory Vanderveken: Originally developed for hemiplegic people, the Wheeleo® is now also the answer for better mobility for many users in different situations. These include, for example, elderly people and people with disabilities.
With the Wheeleo®, elderly people find a solution to their progressive loss of mobility. It is difficult to accept this inevitability. But the Wheeleo® at least makes it easier to accept the assistive aid. By using the Wheeleo®, our parents and grandparents can continue to look healthy and elegant. This aspect is fundamental for the maintenance of a positive outlook on life, which is the driving force behind good health and thus maintaining independence in the long term.
People who have difficulty walking due to an accident, chronic illness or congenital disability love the Wheeleo®. They also receive excellent support and take great pride in using it. The Wheeleo® enables inclusion because its small size allows the user to move around easily like "everyone else". Users are too used to strict and stigmatizing assistive devices, so they are happy to have found a solution with a cool and youthful design in the Wheeleo®! By the way, the Wheeleo® is available in three different colors and new ones are to come.
The Wheeleo® is easy to transport and therefore a good companion.
How was the concept of the Wheeleo® developed?
Gregory Vanderveken: The Wheeleo® was developed by Geoffroy Dellicour, who has worked as a physiotherapist at the William Lennox Neurological Hospital in Ottignies, Belgium, since 2002. The CHN William Lennox is a 159-bed hospital dedicated to the rehabilitation and care of patients of all ages living with neurological conditions such as stroke, head trauma, epilepsy, disorders of consciousness and cognitive developmental disorders, in order to improve their quality of life.
The use of technical walking aids is essential for the rehabilitation work, adaptation and striving for autonomy of the treated persons. Suppleness, stability and rhythm of walking are essential objectives for patients. When Geoffroy realized that the assistive aids available to his patients were not meeting these goals, his mind was full of ideas. He gradually accumulated a lot of canes, splints, broken rollators, books, drawings and multiple research projects in his home. The first prototypes of the Wheeleo® came from his hands.
The concept of the Wheeleo® was initially alarming, but Geoffroy was right. The first patients who tested the Wheeleo® were enchanted and instantly improved their walking. People talked about the magical effect of the Wheeleo®. Very quickly, his colleagues used this new material, and their patients accepted it immediately. Now thousands of Wheeleo®s are already used in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and at home. A first clinical study has also been published.
The Wheeleo® is not only used in everyday life at home, but also in many hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.
What relevance does REHACARE as a trade fair have for your company and the product Wheeleo®?
Gregory Vanderveken: The starting point of the story is in Belgium, where the Wheeleo® was developed and where it is produced. Our ambition is worldwide. The Wheeleo® should be used in every hospital, rehabilitation center and nursing home. Everyone should know the advantages of the Wheeleo® and why it is the perfect solution to their mobility problem to reduce the risk of falls and to maintain their autonomy. To achieve this goal, we need to work hand in hand with partners who are able to introduce the Wheeleo® in their market. During REHACARE we expect to meet these partners and enter into this kind of partnership.
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