Power wheelchair manufacturers constantly work to improve their chairs. Today, there are several portable wheelchair models that weren’t available 10 years ago. So what’s next for the power wheelchair? Let’s take a look.
The power wheelchair is designed to improve the user’s mobility and independence; however, it does have limitations. One of those is climbing stairs. However, this problem can be fixed by futuristic power chairs such as the Carrier, a robotic wheelchair. Yes, robotic. With features such as stair climbing capabilities and tank-like tracks instead of wheels, this concept wheelchair has great features to improve user experience. The Carrier power wheelchair also allows users to rise to a standing position and transfer to the toilet without moving from the chair. This feature, and others similar to it, has the potential to enhance the user’s independence tremendously and will hopefully be on the market in the near future.
Other concepts focus on integrating technology such as monitors, keyboards, and speakers to improve the user’s ability to utilize their favorite technology. These features provide an exciting opportunity for users to finally put aside the worry of pulling up to a desk or holding a laptop in their lap. Below is a photo of a concept chair designed by Mauricio Maeda to capture the future of power chair technology integration.
The future of the power wheelchair is also looking smaller and lighter; a great improvement for users who need something to maneuver through various door sizes with portability. One power chair concept that offers great versatility is the TEK Robotic Mobilization Device, pictured below. This chair is only 14 inches wide and 24 inches long. These dimensions are achieved because the chair allows the user to move while in a standing position. The increased mobility allows users to get through the smallest doors and to reach items they can’t in a seated position.
The future may also provide power chair users in urban areas a means of improved transportation. Concepts such as the PUMA, pictured below, will allow wheelchair confined users to independently commute distances farther and faster. PUMA, and chairs with similar designs, is capable of getting 35 miles from one charge. However, this is expected to increase quickly to 50 miles per charge once developed. Personal urban mobility devices will also come with technology that provides parking information, charge rates, coffee shop locations, and advanced smart device integration.
In the future, power wheelchair users will have more independence, increased mobility and easier access to their favorite technology. Not only is the future bright for users, but it is also encouraging for suppliers who we will have the opportunity to improve their patient’s quality of life.
If you’re interested in seeing power wheelchairs that are currently available, please visit Aeroflow Healthcare’s website and contact us for details on purchasing. You may also qualify to receive your mobility device through insurance at little-to-no cost to you. Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and one of our Patient Care Representatives will verify your insurance and contact you to discuss your coverage and mobility options.