ORI have been working in partnership with Buckingham Healthcare Ltd to design an innovative transfer board to increase the independence of wheelchair users.
Transfer boards are used to form a temporary bridge between two surfaces, enabling people with restricted mobility to slide safely from one position to another, e.g. from a wheelchair to a toilet.
In this Innovate UK funded study, ORI were involved in the design and development of the transfer board prototype.
Specifically, ORI hosted a design workshop with a user group to ensure the prototype was informed by the needs of its intended users. ORI also carried out lab-based studies to assess the handling of the prototype; the forces required to insert and remove the board from under a patient; its stability compared to the most popular transfer boards on the market; and to compare forces required to move a user with and without a sliding component.
The finished product went live on the market last week and offers a solution to the drawbacks of the existing products available for wheelchair users.
This innovative design hopes to increase the independence of patients with limited mobility, thereby increasing their quality of life. It is anticipated that this new technology will reduce the risk of falls during transfer, as well as the risk of skin shearing and pressure ulcers.
Deputy Head of ORI, Professor Tom Wainwright said: “It has been great working with Chris and her team at Buckingham Healthcare, and to play a small role in helping to develop the Glideboard transfer board. We are looking forward to the next stages of this project, to further improve the transfer experience for wheelchair users.”