“What was achieved at this year’s ATSA expo’s was a credit to the industry.” This was the comment made to F2L by ATSA executive officer, David Sinclair.  ATSA, with the support from the industry, had 225 exhibition stands across the Sydney and Brisbane events. “The expos were an opportunity for consumers and healthcare professionals to engage with the latest assistive technology (AT) supports. The feedback we received was highly complimentary, so I claim it to have been an outstanding success, not just for ATSA, but the industry and attendees,” Sinclair said.

The combined education programs provided over 70 presentations, which were well received with many sessions exceeding seating capacity.  Sinclair described this as a “positive problem” which will be addressed for the Melbourne expo in 2018.

He said the shift from the historic supply contract models of the past to the choice and control the NDIS allows has increased interest from participants be part of the AT selection process. “This change was realised at the expos with a growth in the number of consumers attending compared to previous years. The comments I received from the exhibitors reflected a desire by the consumer to understand the options available in AT support to achieve their goals. This is in stark contrast to the past where the consumer would look from a distance as their belief was that the AT on display was out of reach due to the funding structures they were reliant on.

“The overall attendance numbers and the increasing number of attendees from overseas are a demonstration that we are hitting the mark with continuous robust growth on previous years. However, we cannot rest on our laurels as the market is changing with the onset of  the NDIS and My Aged Care. It is anticipated that the change will most likely result in a higher number of consumers attending the events. This positive problem will create a new challenge as we continually review and shape this premium event to meet the ever-growing demand from consumers, health care professionals and the industry,” he said.

More than 1100 visitors converged at the ATSA Brisbane expo with record crowds attending the seminar sessions.  New products were in abundance with exhibitors kept busy answering questions and explaining the latest technologies. Fresh on the new product scene was the Balancer, a suspension type dynamic arm support for those with muscle weakness who still have a usable grab function. Megalong Positioning are the distributors. The new Solo toilet lift from Drive Medical uses battery power to assist those with restricted mobility get on and off the toilet with the touch of a button. The device fits easily over an existing system, requires no special installation and is also used as a normal toilet seat. Country Care unveiled the 3 in 1 Hybrid mattress featuring dynamic and static modes that deliver different inflation levels to relieve body pressure. Rehab and Mobility Wholesalers had the environmentally friendly ArmRx arm and leg gloves that protect casts and dressings from water during bathing. Among the many new products from Dejay Medical were the RibGrips, flexible, colourful and durable handrims for wheelchairs in a range of sizes with adjustable mounting brackets. Grabbing attention literally at the Medix21 Group were the Mobeli grab handles featuring a unique vacuum locking system that does not require drilling or assembly and comes in a variety of sizes.