The 30th International Seating Symposium Part 2

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. I’m finally posting the rest of my photos from the ISS, which was a couple of weeks ago now. After the ISS, I went away to Jamaica for a vacation with my husband and friends. It was a lovely vacation in the sun with lots of jerk chicken! But now, back to business! The first couple of photos is of the Mount’n Mover mounting system. This is a nice system that can be used to set up trays, ipads or really anything. On their website, they even feature a photo of a camera being mounted and used by a client. It’s a nice design with lots of positioning options. A bit on the pricey side (like most mounting systems), but still a nice looking, practical option.

There were a lot new changes to cushions and new cushions at the Symposium this year. Vicair has come out with a Hybrid cushion and have made some changes to their cushions overall. The Vicair air cells will now be sealed into bags in each of the cushion cells. This is meant to prevent them from migrating into neighboring cells when you are trying to adjust the cushion. This also means that it will be one more section to open to gain access to the cells. They are also apparently revising their air cells. There have been some issues with the air cells deflating, but this issue is expected to be fixed. Comfort company will also be releasing changes to their version of the Vicair cushions, which involve a different covering of the cushion all together to prevent loosening or breaking of the seams between the cells and improved comfort with a thicker, airmesh-like material. They are also incorporating a stretch fabric into the cover for better immersion at the rear of the cushion. I think these changes definitely look promising. The Vicair cushion is definitely a cushion that needs to be trialed and can be right for a specific client as they are a firmer, pressure relieving cushion. It is by no means a “maintenance free” cushion as I’ve found that I’ve needed to monitor the air cells for flat ones. Other companies like Invacare and Sunrise (more specifically, the Jay line) were also demonstrating their new fluid gel type cushion. Although these ones are not officially on the market, they are ones to look out for very soon!

During the ISS, I attended a couple of sessions by Kelly Waugh (PT) and Barbara Crane (PT) who presented extensively on postural measurement in seating. I found their instructional sessions to be very interesting, detailed and informative as they proposed a more accurate way to measure specific body angles. The measurement strategy they propose also addresses the issue of having the measure the client, the convert these measurements into the angles of the seating system, which we all know can sometimes be confusing when documenting. Click here to access a guide to wheelchair seated posture measurement. Below is a photo of an angle finder with a ruler attached to the bottom as well as a new device called the Horizon that was developed by Takashi Handa from Japan. The long arms on the Horizon tool allow the clinician the line up the digital angle finder to the boney landmarks on the client. For example, when measuring a pelvic obliquity, the two vertical posts can be aligned with the client’s ASIS on each side the the device will indicate the angle of the pelvic obliquity. This can also be used to measure pelvic tilt, which is a hard measurement to get particularly when the client is seated in their seating systems. During their presentations, they also demonstrated a software system called Rysis, which is a photographic assessment systems that landmarks a client’s body for measurement purposes. These devices take measurement to a whole new level. Although the measurements themselves may not significantly change the configurations of the systems we are currently making, I think it will be interesting to see where this technology and these measurement techniques will take us with regards to how systems are built in general. One of the plenary sessions reviewed the advances in 3D printing and what this could mean with regards to developing different aids and seating components and even seating systems. Who knows what the future may hold…..

Invacare has released a carbon fiber backrest. It is a nice mild contoured, lightweight backrest. The only issue may be the mounting bracket that was shown at the ISS. It may limit the position in which the back can be mounted as it is secured to the crossbar of the wheelchair. There may be other ways to mount this backrest though so follow up with your sales reps about this if you choose this back to trial.

Icon wheelchairs were also showing off their highly adjustable wheelchair. This base is quite different as it can be easily adjusted by the user for functional purposes. It is adjustable in 15 elements including wideth, height and seat angle. It also has an unique suspension system that is meant to greatly enhance the ride and comfort of the wheelchair.

These were the highlights from the ISS that I could collect for you. I apologize if I have missed anything, but please feel free to send me anything you found or would like to add! Motion Specialties has also passed on their summary of the ISS to me.  I’ve attached it  here (ISS 2014) for you to check out as well. Thanks for checking in today!

Seating is Super!


The 30th International Seating Symposium

Hello Everyone! The 30th Annual International Seating Symposium started on Tuesday at the Westin Bayshore in downtown Vancouver. This conference is held every 2 years in Vancouver and is a fabulous event for anyone interested in wheelchair seating and mobility. The conference consists of a huge exhibition hall, poster presentations, pre-symposium courses, paper presentations and instructional sessions. So far it has been a great event with some truly inspirational speakers. Although it has been a long couple days, I thought I would post some of the new/newer products that I have had a chance to check out so far.

The first product I would like to present to you is the Progeo manual rigid wheelchairs. These are carbon fiber wheelchairs that are lightweight and incredibly streamlined in their appearance. Dave Elder from Advanced Mobility Products brought these wheelchairs to my attention. The Progeo wheelchairs were made in Italy and are not quite yet available in Canada. Hopefully soon though as these chairs look quite promising!

Stealth Products has developed a new “Mini Proportional Joystick” (which is a nice, easy to remember name). The shape, size and design of this product really stood out to me. The flat top with the built up sides made it easy to position and rest my index finger over top. When directing the joystick, the built up edges really helped to maintain positioning and steer with accuracy. Often times with other joysticks on the market, it can be difficult for clients to keep their fingers in place as they can often slip off the small topper. Stealth informed me that they can also rubber coat their joystick for added grip, which was definitely a nice feature. Different levels of resistance in this joystick are also available.

Stealth displayed their iDrive Diagnostic system that can be used to calibrate their joystick.  Another issue with other products on the market are that they are at times difficult to orient properly for the client. This can at times make trials quite difficult.

Comfort Company will be releasing a new backrest called the Acta-Relief Back very soon. This backrest is quite innovative, light weight and easily adjustable. The product consists of a metal frame with what they call Boa Reels that are tightened by rotating a dial called the Boa Closure System. Think of when you adjust the time on your watch; you pull out the watch crown (yes, it’s called a watch crown and yes I did happen to google this!) to release the cables/Boa Reels, then click it back in and turn until you have the desired level of support/tension. Et voila! You’ve adjusted the backrest to the back contours of your client! The cover also has a nice stretchy material integrated along the midline of the backrest. This is meant to allow for comfort and pressure relief along the spinous processes. This back was quite comfortable when I tried it out myself! I really liked how it could be adjusted to a client’s back contours. The ease of adjustability was a plus as well!

Advanced Health Care Products (AHC) had a few new items at this years symposium as well.  Body Point was showing off their new mounting extensions for the Evoflex pelvic stabilizer. I’ve used this product once before and found that it was a bit difficult to mount and position in the right position for the client without some added customization. With this new extension/mounting kit, these issues will likely be resolved. The only issue might be remembering to order this extra pieces when specifying the Evoflex. The Roho Group also displayed their Agility backrests, which integrates their famous Roho air cells into either the whole back or parts of the back. Definitely a backrest that I keep in mind to trial. The Roho Group very kindly hosted myself and the Access Community Therapists Ltd group in the evening after the symposium. It was a lovely event at the Fish House in Stanley Park. It was a pleasure meeting the Roho team! Thanks again for a great evening!

Ki Mobility will be releasing a new tilt in space manual wheelchair. This is a nice looking base with a high degree of adjustability. In Canada, it is projected to fall somewhere in the middle of the cost hierarchy (possibly somewhere falling in between the cost of an SR 45 and an Iris), however, this has yet to be confirmed. The selling points of this base is the smart tilt function, which is a smooth tilt mechanism that does not require weight in the chair and its reported durability. They pitch this base as a heavy duty, durable base that is meant to withstand a heavy user or client who presents with strong movement patterns. There are options for dynamic back canes as well as dynamic footrests. Although it is always hard to say how a new wheelchair base will compare to others, or stand up over time;  it does seem like it could be a strong competitor in the market!

Unfortunately, it is getting quite late and it will be an early start tomorrow morning at the ISS. That means that I will have to share the rest of my photos with you in my next post. I hope you found these points helpful though! Thanks again for reading and checking in!

Seating is Super!