Rehacare, the international trade fair gathering for rehabilitation products, has just wrapped in Germany. A major trend at the fair was the increasing number of international exhibitors using Rehacare as a platform to present product concepts and prototypes about to hit the market.
Paravan previewed what is claimed to be the first vehicle for people with mobility impairments that can exit and enter the garage automatically. While not available yet, it has been developed to resolve the problem of narrow garages where wheelchair users cannot exit cars on their own to park or reverse the car out. From South Korea there was a smartwatch with a braille display that can communicate with iOS and Android operating systems so users can retrieve and answer smartphone messages. The device is expected to be released in 2016.
New products that dominated the show were the everyday aids, in particular wheelchairs, mobility, walking and transport. Among these was the AddSeat that sports an innovative glide function which means users do not need to have legs to move forward or backward. The seat also has a parking feature for improved stability when climbing on and off the vehicle.
Another was the Batec Hibrid that offers increased mobility outdoors without relinquishing the wheelchair. The Batec can be easily disconnected and connected even for those with severe disabilities with the Easy-Fix anchor system when manual wheelchair requirements are needed.
The Autolift SR is an aluminium ramp constructed without welding that is foldable, light and robust and features an anti-slip surface. me:go is an all-season electric scooter designed especially for use in wet weather and cold temperature situations with its steel frame and safety glass features. For those undergoing stroke rehabilitation, the Hand of Hope system claims to be the only wearable portable robotic device that helps to move the affected hand using muscle signals. The technology enables stroke survivors to self-initiate and control movement of the weakened muscles.
For the first time visitors were given the opportunity to describe their problems and experiences in procuring aids either by filling out an online questionnaire or using suggestion boxes located in the exhibition halls. This initiative was followed up with a discussion panel that responded to the issues raised in the survey.
There were 754 exhibitors and more than 100 organisations and associations presenting at the show which is held annually.
Photo credit: Messe Dusseldorf