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!