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"A novel, integrated, wheelchair and hoist system"

Final Report Summary - HOMEHOIST (A novel, integrated, wheelchair and hoist system)

Executive Summary:
The HomeHoist project has produced a wheelchair with an integral hoist system, which will allow for more independent living, a reduced need for lifting and manual handling from care takers and a reduction in the number of costly disability aids within the home.

The HomeHoist system initially functions as an everyday wheelchair, but is be able to lift the user from the wheelchair and transfer them to the toilet, the shower, a sofa, or a bed. The HomeHoist system is designed around the same dimensions as a conventional wheelchair allowing access throughout the home.

A consortium of 4 companies and 2 research institutes has developed what was a concept into a demonstration prototype. The research has been scientific and detailed and taken into consideration all patient biomedical requirements, European standards and safety regulations.

The project has been funded by the European Funding scheme: Research for Benefit of SMEs - FP7-SME-2012. We believe we have identified a novel design solution to the difficulty, comfort and costs associated with lifting a cerebral palsy patient.

Project Context and Objectives:
The primary aim of the project is to develop an integrated wheelchair and hoist system capable of use by a cerebral palsy patient with upper body strength, which will reduce the need for lifting and manual handling from carers.

Project Results:
The functionality of the HomeHoist system enables independent use. This is important to those cerebral palsy sufferers who aren’t mobile but yet have good mental ability. The need to have a carer to perform basic functions is very frustrating and demoralising in these circumstances.

The HomeHoist system reinstates the users independence and will be purchased by a user and their family. The design is modern and minimalist, which appeals to the end users and their families.

Potential Impact:
The HomeHoist system will impact on the following groups and provide the listed benefits:
Cerebral Palsy patients:
- Provide a the user with a feeling of independence
- Maintain the 'normal' appearance of the users home
- The wheelchair will be aesthetically pleasing
- Will reduce manual lifting, maintaining their health
- Will reduce the need for multiple devices that make a home seem like a hospital
- Will decrease the amount of manual lifting for staff
- Will be quick and easy to use
- Will be more accepted and less intrusive than an overhead hoists
Health trusts / Insurances:
- Will be less expensive than an electric wheelchair and classic hoist
- Will reduce manual lifting for carers, maintaining their health
- Can be easily moved between patients should circumstances change

List of Websites: