Wheelchairs have been around for centuries. Over the years these chairs have been redesigned to better serve the people using them. However, even the currently-used, steel-framed ones are still inadequate in terms of medical quality.
As per Will Ferniany, CEO of the University of Alabama Birmingham Health System, the traditional or conventional mobility chairs do not meet the needs of medical institutions and could even put the users at risk for injury. The traditional wheelchair used in the hospital setting has been observed to be less than beneficial. The old-fashioned mobility chair is made with huge rear wheels for the purpose of enabling the users to move around, but in the hospital, patients on wheelchairs are mostly pushed by staff and hospital personnel.
Another drawback of the conventional chair was that the seat stretches over time and no matter what material is used, the seat was not ergonomically created and designed to be comfortable. Also, getting into and out of the chair was quite difficult especially for the elderly patients, those who are sick, and those who have had a medical operation or procedure and are recovering from it.
Because the traditional chair is no longer advised to be used in modern hospitals or skilled-nursing facilities, Dr. Ferniany commissioned Lloyd Cooper to design a wheelchair that will replace the old one. Hence the company Movi Medical was established.
The company is responsible for designing, building and marketing the new wheelchair known as the Movi chair. Cooper, the designer of Movi said that every medical facility and hospital across the globe utilizes a conventional wheelchair that is created and designed for self-propelled mobility which unfortunately is never intended for hospital use.
According to Cooper, designing the Movi chair was a long and tedious process. He did not have any idea at first as to how he is going to build a wheelchair that will be greatly useful in a hospital setting. So, he consulted a team of experts in UAB: nurses, safety and health staff, transport staff and personnel, geriatricians, physical therapists, exercise physiologists and senior administrators. There, he got a lot of sources and ideas that helped him create the new wheelchair.
Cooper, with his meeting with the team stated that the chair needs to address these key items:
- Easier maneuverability
- Low rolling resistance
- Minimizing patients’ risk for falls
- Patients' comfort (especially when it comes to sitting)
- Patients' easy access to getting into and out of the chair
- Minimizing injury to transport staff or personnel
So, the Movi chair was created with the following wonderful and efficient features:
- It is battery-powered.
- It has PAL (Powered Assist Lift) technology.
- It has an adjustable headrest.
- It has fully-padded armrests.
- It has an under and rear seat storage.
- It has an increased leg support.
- It has an IV pole and Oxygen tank support.
With the Movi chair, the hospital and other medical institutions are made a little better for those who are staying there. And for the staff, the chair is another tool to help them to better take care of their patients.