Permobil SmartDrive
A new white paper from Permobil has found a growing body of evidence that people who use manual wheelchairs benefit from power assist devices across all aspects of their life, and they go far beyond offering physical relief.

The evidence in the new white paper, A systematic review of the evidence for power assist devices, has found that the impact of a Power Assist Devices (PADs) goes across all aspects of the individual’s life and that an individual’s needs must be matched to the varying benefits that come from different PADs (front, main wheel, rear).

The impact, it says, goes beyond relief of repetitive strain and energy conservation but directly and indirectly affects what activities our users can participate in; the environments one can access and navigate in and how independent users are.

Carla Nooijen, Senior Researcher, and co-author of the white paper, commented: “The evidence around the benefits of PADs in general to relieve the shoulders, energy conservation and on difficult terrains is well-documented and increasingly well understood.

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“A second important conclusion we found was that the different types of PADs meet differing user needs. In other words, we need to match individuals to the right kind of PAD for them.”

One advantage with rear PADs, such as the Permobil SmartDrive, is the compact size doesn’t inhibit access in the workplace or at home and it is easier to transport compared to other PADs. Front mounted PADs, such as Permobil’s Mototronik, were found to be the most intuitive for people to drive and can provide mobility without any pushes at all.

Jennith Bernstein, Clinical Affairs Manager and co-author of the white paper, added: “This white paper allows the reader to understand the presented evidence and how it can apply to an individual’s lived experience and outcome.”

The white paper is based on a systematic literature review, complemented by a Permobil-conducted survey of 125 individuals with international representation.  In addition, in early 2022, interviews were conducted with individuals who use various types of PADs.

The authors of the white paper, which is due to be publicly released on Wednesday 22nd June, are hosting a webinar on June 21st, 2022.  The webinar will run at three different time options and cover how the systematic review informs understanding about the impact that PADs can have.

Permobil is a global leader in trusted healthcare solutions for power and manual wheelchairs, seating and positioning products, and power assist, with 1,600 team members in more than 15 countries around the world.

In April, the wheelchair manufacturer confirmed that it had partnered with Mobvoi, an artificial intelligence-wearable company, to bring its manual wheelchair users the SmartDrive PushTracker E3, a power assist solution and health tracking software with Mobvoi’s TicWatch E3 smartwatch.

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