Permobile – A Wheelchair Help Tilt App
Permobile has a smart phone app that is called the virtual seating coach which is to be used by people that have a Permobile power wheelchair with a tilt/recline option. The app has programmed recommendations for the user to reposition while sitting in power wheelchairs. It reminds the client to tilt or recline and tells them to what extent to tilt. It tracks the actions and is supposed to help them to make sure they follow the program. The idea is to achieve a reduction in pressure to compressed skin and tissue to help avoid pressure ulcers.
By going into tilt, body weight is distributed over a larger surface area however the body stays in constant contact with the seat cushion and back exactly as before the tilt. All that changes is the angle of the chair which distributes body weight over a larger area. The weight distribution per square inch of surface area is lowered and the result of a tilt is pressure reduction but not pressure relief.
Pressure relief occurs when the weight is removed like when doing a pressure lift. Circulation to the compressed skin and tissue is re-established.
This app may serve as a reminder to use the power tilt/recline option but there are some points to consider about this approach.
- Tilting provides no stimulation of the skin and tissue. There is pressure reduction but reduced pressure is not the same a pressure relief.
- Tilting and reclining will draw unwanted attention in public so the client my not want to follow the regiment in certain social situations.
- The client has to initiate action to accomplish the tilt/recline. It is not automatic.
- A tilt/recline is an option that can add as much as $12,000 to the cost of the chair.
A less costly and certainly more effective approach to achieving pressure relief and not just pressure reduction, is the SofTech automatic cushion system. For 1/3 the cost of a power tilt feature, the client receives pressure relief benefits as often as 60 times per hour and it is completely automatic. With the SofTech there is no tilting, no reminders, no awkward moments while in public. The pressure relief therapy is delivered without any outward signs.
SofTech can be used in place of standard power chair seats or can be used on manual chairs swapped to use in any chair.