The new TEK mobility device
We are all used to various kinds of scooters and wheelchairs, motorized and manual, three wheels and four wheels, walkers, canes, and various simple and complicated devices to allow folks who are handicapped to get from place to place. We see our disabled friends, and store displays, with a wide variety of such devices. All are based on a single premise and method, which is: we hold onto some kind of handle/s while we walk slowly [walker], or we sit in some kind of special chair with wheels, with or without a motor, and we then go somewhere by “rolling” the chair forward, while we are sitting in it. When we get there, we may stay in the chair or we might transfer to a regular seat, a seat in the car, a toilet, or wherever else we may wish to sit.
It’s been that way for many years. No one has thought of a different, better way to get from here to there. Until now, that is…..Enter the TEK mobility device, introduced and sold by Innovations Health in California [with nationwide access]. It was invented and is manufactured in Turkey, and has already been on the market in Europe. Having just received FDA approval, it is now being sold in this country. If you receive any disability magazines, the two-page ad spread is on the inside front cover, and the website is www.innovationshealth.com.
After first investigating this new device in early 2014, I received in December 2015 one of the first ones to be sold in the United States. The distribution company, Innovations Health, is firmly committed to supplying this TEK device to those who need it, anywhere in the country, and is also committed to being sure that this device is the right one for each handicapped person. A doctor’s prescription is needed, and more importantly, they insist on a personal demonstration and trial before agreeing to supply the TEK to a prospective purchaser. It must be correct and useful, and usable, to each new purchaser, or they would not supply the unit to you. It is customized for each person. They are thus extremely ethical and also very supportive once you have the unit.
How does it work, so differently? Check the photo of myself in the TEK, when it first arrived. The TEK is moved in front of you [you are sitting in a chair or on a scooter], and this movement is done with a small hand remote-control. You move it to you from wherever you parked it last, all by use of the remote control. You sit on a firm pad, with a large opening near each end, then attach straps to each side of the pad. Then, by operating the controls, the straps tighten and pull the attached pad, with you on it, up to a standing position, and the straps hold you there, standing, during the entire time you are using it. Your knees are inside special pads, and there is another pad touching your lower chest, so you are comfortable. Each TEK is customized for each person, after all kinds of body measurements are recorded.
You can then ride around, anywhere you wish to go, in the standing position. You can reach things you could not reach otherwise, and you can then reverse the process and sit back down, on your scooter or in a chair. The big difference from all previous mobility devices is that you don’t ride around sitting; you ride around standing. My big plus, and yours also, is that you can avoid / reverse the bone/calcium loss, and muscle atrophy, not to mention leg swelling, which happens when you spend all day just sitting. The unit is rather small, so it would fit anywhere, and doorways and tight spaces are not a problem. The width at the wheels is 16.5”, and at the handle bars it is 19.5”.
When done for the day, you simply park it in the corner somewhere, with the hand control, and then you bring it back to wherever you are, when you need it next. It is extremely well-engineered and constructed, and took years to develop. I’m going to write a more complete story for “Synapse,” and this is the introduction that many of you have asked me about in your emails.
Malin Dollinger, M.D., SPG4
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