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Movi Medical Releases an Innovative Breakthrough in Wheelchair Design

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Movi Medical today introduced the Movi, a new concept in wheelchair design, and perhaps the biggest innovation in patient transport since the traditional wheelchair was introduced in the 1930s. The Movi is more comfortable, easier to use and safer for both the patient and health care transport staff, according to early trials at UAB Health System in Birmingham, Alabama.


For Will Ferniany , Ph.D., UAB Health System CEO, the need for a new patient transport device grew from concern for his patients and staff. He saw the negative impact that traditional wheelchairs were having on his entire organization. His vision is that patient care and worker safety always deserve attention and continual improvement.

"The classic wheelchair was never designed as a primary means of patient transport," Ferniany said, "and so it fails in a number of important, functional ways. A traditional wheelchair is cumbersome and challenging to move a patient in and out of, and it certainly wasn't designed for our increasingly obese population. When you understand how many times our nurses are physically lifting patients into and out of wheelchairs, and you further comprehend the risk for injury to both patient and nurse inherent in each move, it was clear that we needed an alternative means of transport.

"When considering patient safety, security and stability, as well as overall value, no hospital can afford to spend money unwisely," Ferniany added. "Fewer worker injuries and reduced liability results in a reduction in staff turnover, which, in turn, improves the productivity of our medical teams. That's our goal with the Movi."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care workers involved in moving patients have one of the highest incidences of back injury of any industry. The Movi, with its built-in patient assist lift, reduces the assistance required from the caregiver, thereby reducing risk of injury to both the patient and the professional. The patient-assist lift helps a patient stand by raising his or her center of gravity until centered over the legs, mimicking the biomechanics of standing from a seated position. Transport personnel are not required to lift a patient's total weight, reducing the chance for injury or accidental falls for both patient and nurse.

With new models of reimbursement affecting healthcare institutions, the Movi's design reflects the needs of today's healthcare economy through two goals: fewer injuries to patients from slips and falls and the reduction of healthcare worker losses due to injury from repetitive motion and lifting strain. The Movi makes significant contributions to the real world in which today's healthcare managers operate.

Lloyd Cooper , CEO of Push Design, was hired by Ferniany and UAB Health System to lead the product design effort. Cooper's motivation was inspired by the personal experience of his father, who had had been permanently confined to a wheelchair and suffered a sharp decline in his quality of life.

"My father was 87," Cooper said, "He'd fallen twice and had broken both hips. Eventually, he had to use a wheelchair on a permanent basis. We purchased a high-end chair, yet it still came with bad ergonomics. It was awkward to move. He could only sit for a short time before his body slumped forward, making it difficult to breathe properly and placing additional pressure on his back. Sitting wore him out. But worst of all, his quality of life was significantly diminished as well as the lives of those who cared for him."

A team of experts

Ferniany and Cooper put together an advisory team ranging from hospital administrators to transport team members to help with the chair's initial concept. For more than 24 months, the design team shadowed the transport staff and asked thousands of questions of personnel and patients, in order to address concerns and offer the highest level of comfort possible.

The Movi features a seat back designed around the Grandjean curve, the natural curve of the human spine. It promotes patient comfort and optimal spinal posture, minimizing the compressed breathing that Cooper's father endured. The Movi also features an innovative new footplate. Unlike traditional wheelchairs, where the footrest is an obstacle, the Movi footplate rests flat on the floor while patients enter and exit the chair. It also eliminates the awkward process of lifting a patient's legs onto the footrest.

The ergonomic handle is adjustable and designed for maximum comfort and maneuverability. Anyone between the height of 4'8" to 6'6" can comfortably push the chair. The Movi features a lower center of gravity and less rolling resistance so it's more maneuverable and easier to turn. Other built-in features include an IV pole, O2 tank support and over 7 cubic feet of integrated storage.

Cooper has a long history in seating design, from office furniture to automotive seating. His experiences had a great impact on the Movi.

"When creating the Movi, I wanted to integrate some of the same ergonomic thinking that was guiding commercial seating design into a better method of transporting patients," said Cooper. "My only regret is that my father never had the opportunity to use it," Cooper said. "However, it excites me to think about the improved quality of life for those who can be served by a Movi and the reduction of healthcare worker injuries that the Movi design helps prevent."

For more information about Movi Medical visit

About Movi Medical

Movi Medical, a forward-thinking, innovation company using novel ideas to tackle costly health care issues, features a team of seasoned health care executives and designers. The company's leadership includes Brad Spencer and Lloyd Cooper . Spencer is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and Duke University where he earned a Masters in Business Administration.  For more than fifteen years he has been involved in starting, financing, and managing start-up businesses. He previously worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers and The Procter & Gamble Company.  Lloyd Cooper serves as Vice President of Design for Movi Medical. He is also a Principal of PUSH Product Design, LLC. For the last 14 years, Cooper has led PUSH as a research and development consultancy for clients ranging from Medtronic to Yamaha.

Brad Spencer

SOURCE Movi Medical
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