A company launching an automated transfer and mobility system that moves patients from a bed to a wheelchair — and the other way — without any lifting or rolling has raised $325,000 of a potential $1.2 million.
Next Health Inc.’s Agile Life Transfer and Living System comprises a wheelchair with a back that lowers and a bed with both conveyor and folding mechanisms that move the patient to the head or foot of the bed and transition the patient to a sitting or lying position (see the demo video below).
The process of getting a patient into or out of bed using Agile Life takes about 90 seconds and requires minimal assistance from a caregiver. Current transfer methods using harnesses, boards or air-assisted devices pose the risk of falls for patients and the risk of injury for caregivers, the company says.
The technology was developed by Vivax Medical Corp. and licensed to Next Health last year.
Next Health CEO Robert Jacobs didn’t return a call, but he told Mass High Tech last month that the company plans to make the beds available to Connecticut residents who need them through the state’s Department of Social Services starting in August and commercially in October. Early sales will focus on the Northeast and the military, he said.
The cost of the Agile Life bed is $2,100 monthly, according to a Next Health white paper [PDF], and will be sold for clinical and in-home use. It could enable some chronically or temporarily immobile patients to be cared for at home while it reduces the risk of health conditions that result from being sedentary for long periods of time, the company says.