Options in MobilityBy Kirkner, Amy; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: July 2009
Article discusses recent trends in wheelchair manufacturing. The author points out that, overall, a slowing down of new product development in the mobility industry can be observed, due to the current economic crisis and to the effect of insurance restrictions on offering new equipment or features, as illustrated by the recent withdrawal from the market of the iBot after its classification by insurers made it difficult to qualify for reimbursement. Similar restrictions on portable wheelchairs reportedly have resulted in drastically reduced options. New trends in wheelchair manufacturing described include repositionable seats, with some chairs featuring telescoping frames to readjust the size of the seat, and others offered with a one-time free growth kit that can be requested from the manufacturer. Another new feature mentioned is transportation brackets more frequently included on both manual and power wheelchairs. Regarding the concern about the repair of wheelchairs manufactured by companies going out of business, the article points out that equipment companies are obligated to supply parts for 7 years after discontinuing a product. A list of selected wheelchairs and accessories is appended, and the link (http://www.rehabpub.com/buyers_guide.asp#692) to the publication’s complete 2009 Buyer’s Guide is also included.
Assistive Products Discussed: IBOT MOBILITY SYSTEM
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2009-07_06.asp