Innovative Wheelchair Adapts to Children’s Needs as they Grow

By: | April 3rd, 2013

Chair4 Life is aimed at maximising mobility and independence for disabled children as they grow into adulthood. As children grow their physical and developmental needs change rapidly, and are at greater risk of deterioration if their wheelchair is not appropriate.

Intensive research over several months with users, carers and healthcare professionals, revealed unmet needs for a wheelchair design that easily adapts to a child’s changing growth cycle. Renfrew have developed an innovative, modular wheelchair that is truly adaptable to an individual’s changing needs and now addresses the physical and social demands of 80% of paediatric, powered wheelchair users aged 4 to 18 years old.

The ‘Chair4Life’ Platform

Chair4Life has been designed around a universal, modular platform that can be readily updated and modified through a standard catalogue of attachments and bespoke components. It centres on a standard chassis which is retained throughout a child’s journey, which greatly reduces disruption to their lives caused by lengthy waiting times for new chair systems.

The seat grows with the child via the implementation of ISO Mount™– a universal modular docking system that attaches the seat to the chassis lift mechanism allowing swift replacement of successive seating modules.

The universal ISO Fasten™ system ensures that the chair can be swiftly and easily modified to accommodate changes such as monitoring and care equipment, storage and accessories. This innovative system allows third party manufacturers the ability to provide a raft of upgrading features and components within a fixed base platform. This means more patient choice, improved quality of products and new components to drive innovation within the industry.

Chair4 Life - 1.Renfrew Group International Chair4 Life – Renfrew Group International

Other benefits of C4L is a vertical lift as standard, a key feature demanded by young users, enabling eye to eye interaction with their peers, which has been shown to facilitate social and educational development and improve feelings of dignity and independence.

Chair4 Life - Renfrew Group International Chair4 Life – Renfrew Group International

The inclusion of the unique, automatic, ‘Varitrak’ adjustable wheelbase allows the user to adjust the wheels to suit indoor or outdoor conditions, providing stability when it is needed and compactness for maneuverability in smaller spaces for greater freedom.

The C4L user centred, user generated, design approach has focused on innovative engineering and integrated product styling with design to deliver a compact, lightweight, modern aesthetic that is fully customisable, whilst maintaining cost effective manufacturing techniques and efficiencies.

By growing with the child and allowing later modifications, Chair for Life provides an efficient and long term perspective on innovation and lays the foundations for proposed transformations within wheelchair services in the UK.

Check out more information on the Chair4 Life here.

Product Design Consultancy Renfrew Group International, in partnership with the NHS unveils a pioneering, modular children’s powered wheelchair, ‘Chair 4 Life’ in London.

Jeremy Helms

Jeremy Helms is an engineering enthusiast. You can also find Jeremy on Google+.

View more articles by Jeremy Helms.

LinkedIn Google+ 

More articles from Industry Tap...