The Movi is a new chair engineered for use in a hospital or skilled-nursing facility, or potentially in the home as a mobility aid intended to serve as an alternative to a wheelchair.

Lloyd Cooper, designer for Movi Medical, a company created to design, build, and market the new chair, explains that the company was commissioned by Will Ferniany, CEO of University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System to create an alternative to the conventional wheelchair used in modern hospitals.

To begin development, a UAB news release reports that Cooper met with experts at UAB that included physical therapists, geriatricians, nurses, transport staff, health and safety experts, exercise physiologists, and senior administrators.

Cooper states in the release that there were eight key items that needed to be addressed, including maneuverability, low rolling resistance, minimizing patient falls, and improving access into and out of the car.

“One very important item was minimizing staff injuries from assisting patients. We also looked at integrating medical equipment, such as IV poles or catheter bags, as a way to make the chair more efficient,” Cooper adds.

The release notes that Movi is a lift chair that features a battery-powered motor, and pivots on its axis to raise or lower a patient up to 20 degrees.

Watch the acute care model in action

Once the chair is raised, the integrated footrest is built to lie flat on the floor. This is intended to ease patient transfer into or out of the chair. It is also designed to minimize fall risk and likelihood of injury to the transport staff.

The recent years have brought awareness to the number of injuries to nurses and patient care technicians, as well as family members, caused by patient lifting, according to Cynthia Brown, MD, director of UAB Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care. Brown also reportedly served in the consulting team for Movi.

“We see back injuries and shoulder injuries, and have found that a whole segment of our workforce is at risk as they attempt to mobilize patients,” Brown says.

The Movi is built to provide ergonomic comfort, rolls easily, and can also carry a range of medical equipment, the release notes. Additionally, it offers 6 cubic feet of space for a patient’s belongings.

The release says that UAB has purchased 10 of the Movi chairs and has ordered 100 more. The Birmingham VA Hospital has purchased 20.

Gray Shipley, CEO, Movi Medical, emphasizes that the company is working to develop a “one patient, one Movi” concept, in which the patient would be assigned a Movi chair upon admission to a hospital. The chair would stay with that patient throughout his or her hospitalization.

Brown notes that the lift-assistive device may make a difference in the battle against poor outcomes linked to minimized out-of-bed activity among older patients, such as pressure ulcers and deep-vein thrombosis.

“Ask any older adult and they will tell you they want to remain independent. They want to be able to do things for themselves. In many respects, we owe it to them to keep them as functional as possible so they can maintain their independence even after a hospital stay,” Brown says.

The release reports that Movi Medical also offers Movi 2, or M2, a second-generation chair built for the home and nursing facility market. The product features an adjustable headrest, fully padded arm supports, folding side table, extended leg rests, and side storage pockets.

Shipley adds that Movi is also in discussions with potential partners to boost manufacturing and distribution to the marketplace.

Source(s): UAB, Movi Medical