A C Mobility Dutch inventorHow many people can claim to have a wheelchair named after them? Well Eric Van Olst can. He has designed his first wheelchair, the EVO Lectus, for Karma-Europe that carries his initials. The Dutch born designer has been in the rehabilitation business for 30 years starting in workshops, moving to product, sales, service and ultimately product design. And when it comes to wheelchair design “you have to understand all areas”, he said. From how the chair looks to how it is used. In designing the EVO Lectus we studied not just the user, but the dealer and insurer to make sure the product fulfils the needs for all parties.” He said you can have a very nice chair but it can be complicated to repair and should be possible to do on the spot in a short time. “This avoids the dealer having to take the chair away and deliver it days later.”

According to Van Olst the environment has to be right to ensure the dealer knows about the product and how to deal promptly with any problems. “We don’t sell wheelchairs, we sell mobility.” As for the next generation wheelchair and how it will look it was impossible to predict because technology and equipment design is moving so quickly. “We are already seeing more efficient battery systems, mobile phone integration and environment control for operating the TV and opening doors,” which is all about making life for the wheelchair user more independent.