39,000 visitors came to the international trade fair REHACARE 2015 in Düsseldorf in October in search of information on aids for self-determined living, for older people and those with disabilities and care needs. 754 exhibitors from 37 countries presented their rehabilitation and care products to an international audience of trade professionals over 3 days, plus a final Day 4 open to the public.
The organisers present the show as a reliable source of information for international industry pros and the public. They aim to help strengthen and expand participation, self-determination and dignified care.
Some companies use REHACARE as a platform to present product concepts and introduce prototypes just about to hit the market. For example, South Korean start-up “dot” presented a trailblazing innovation: a smartwatch with a braille display for blind people. It’s able to communicate with iOS and Android operating systems and lets users retrieve and answer smartphone messages. It’ll be available in 2016.
And Loopwheels were happy to be one of those 754 exhibitors! We had a very busy show, making contact with European and other international dealers, and we’re pleased to have added to the number of shops and countries where you can now try and buy Loopwheels for wheelchairs. The latest list is shown on our website stockists page.
We noticed a big increase in handbike attachments – more common in the rest of Europe than in the UK, and we reckon you’ll see more and more of them on British streets soon too. There is a wide range, from top quality German, Spanish and Italian brands to cheaper ones too. (The message from users I spoke to seemed to be: “you get what you pay for”. So don’t be tempted to go too cheap if you’re considering these!)
Innovations in electric assist were noticeable too, mirroring the advances in recent years in the bike industry. There have been fast developments in this industry, with ever smaller, lighter and better quality motors available.
Heavily promoted and getting a real buzz around its stand was ReWalk, which claims to be the only legally approved Exoskeleton for daily use.
Our favourite innovation (aside from loopwheels of course!) was the Carbolife ergonomic hand rims for active wheelchair users. These have been developed by clever German engineers who decided to start from scratch in designing a better shaped push rim, suited to the contours of the human hand and in particular to the needs of quadriplegics, without or with limited finger control. We have some samples which we’ve been trialling and will be introducing these in the UK at the Naidex show in April, at the NEC Birmingham.
The next REHACARE will take place from 28 September to 1 October 2016, again in Düsseldorf in Germany.
Carbolife “Curve” Hand rims
We met these cleverly designed hand rims for the first time at Rehacare. We’ve been trialling them on loopwheels and will be introducing them on our 2016 range. You’ll be able to see them on our stand at Naidex 2016 next April.
»Curve Grip« and »Curve Grip L« are push rims optimized for quadriplegics, but also suitable for wheelchair users preferring rubberized hand rims. The innovative profile of this German hand rim offers quadriplegics a more effective pressing area between hand and hand rim, due to its bigger size compared to a conventional round hand rim section. Therefore on plain surface and especially when going uphill, propulsion is easy on the joints and energy saving, leading to a better and safer handling of the wheelchair.
Watch this space for more news!