Product Premiere: Rising to new heights

Quantum Rehab’s TRU-Balance 2 reaches new elevation, focuses on versatility.

Elevation: you can never have too much of it. At least that’s the thought behind Quantum Rehab’s latest power lift and tilt position offering, the TRU-Balance 2, which provides a whopping 10 full inches of lift along with 50 degrees of tilt.

For any power chair user who needs to reach heights, such as cupboards or shelves, increased elevation is an absolute need in order to carry out their daily work and personal life. Moreover, increased elevation can help them hit new heights in their personal and professional interactions.

“The increased elevation afforded by this lift and tilt feature in many instances will allow a person to be at eye level with people they are interacting or conversing with,” says Cody Verrett, ATS, national sales director for Quantum Rehab. “For folks who have disabilities, this is tremendously important to their self esteem and confidence in social situations, so there’s a big advantage there.”

It’s All in the Actuator
The key innovation in the TRU-Balance 2 lies in its scissors-like mechanism for lifting, which lets it reach that 10 inches while preserving precious power storage, and thus range, Verrett says.

A traditional pedestal mechanism for a power-elevating seat is typically base mounted, down at the frame of the power chair, taking up room in the battery compartment. A scissor mechanism lets the TRU-Balance 2 provide lift and power positioning without compromising that space.

“For us that was critical, because the hallmark for a lot of our products is that they’re small, compact and maneuverable, so we’re limited in our ability to put an actuator down in that base without significantly compromising range,”?Verrett says. “So coming up with a better solution was our goal.”

Also, by having the drive train or power source directly under the individual in the chair, the arrangement is able to ensure tight maneuvering.
Only one actuator is employed when the user is running tilt. When both actuators are run, the user rises vertically 10 inches straight upward. When the system is in a down position, the actuators are parallel to each other at the base. As they extend, the actuators lift the system while keeping it level.

“The scissors lift also lets us make a more compact power positioning unit with a minimum seat-to-floor height,” Verrett says, adding that when used in its Q6000v, Quantum will offer a “super low” option that will have a seat-to-floor height of 18 inches. “Comparatively, with a pedestal actuator, and that same base, the person would have a seat-to-floor height of roughly 20.5 inches,” he says.

And that seat-to-floor height is every bit as important for accessibility as the TRU-Balance 2’s lift range. “For accessibility into desks, accessibility into vehicles and transportation, accessibility into bathroom stalls, or for transfers it’s really advantageous to have a minimum seat-to-floor height that is in that sub-20-inch range for power positioning,” Verrett explains.

Other Features
The chair’s tilt features also are critical to individuals with diminished or no sensation and who need the ability to reposition themselves independently in order to improve circulation and reduce pressure, thus increasing their function and longevity.

“If you can imagine sitting in an office chair all day long, having the benefit of opening your hip angle, or put your feet up, or reclining throughout the day is a huge benefit,” Verrett illustrates.

Along with that tilt feature, the TRU-Balance 2 accommodates a variety of support surfaces that are designed with the user in mind. After surface needs are determined during a clinical evaluation, a host of options are available to suit those support needs, Verrett adds.

This article originally appeared in the October 2008 issue of HME Business.

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