Dutrenit Hervé Pierre, PhD Student Curtin University, Australia
Field of the research
This invention is a portable, telescopic patient hoist fitted onto the powerchair of a quadriplegic or elderly patient. The presentation is about the patent AU2016206312 and the possibility of remote control from mobile phone, tablets or computer.
Background of the invention:
Currently medical hoists are used with cumbersome long legs. The long, bulky legs prevent patients from carrying the hoist anywhere they go. Moreover, with the latter invention, clearance is compulsory between the ground and the object where the patient is to be set down. This restricts patients’ possibility of where and when to be hoisted off the chair. This implies that in case of commuting or travel with the chair hoisting is not possible. The other limitation is when a person wants to be hoisted into a pool or into a boat. This problem happens with the current hoists available on the market. It is impossible to be hoisted if there is no ground under where the patient needs to be lifted or set down.
The design is made of aluminium 6061-T6, 6083 to offer yield strength of 241 MPa for a density of 2.7 . This allows a low weight design, facilitating retrofit to existing chairs without requiring upgrade to Powerchair motors. By comparison, 316 Stainless steel has a Yield strength of 310 MPa for a density of 7.9.
The telescopic poles are made of Acme Lead screws that enable a 9,000 N Load. The whole hoist and power chair compound is rated for a patient weighing up to 200 kg.
With the telescopic hoist, the patient can be hoisted anywhere, anytime. This Telescopic hoist is retrofitted directly onto the chair of the patient and is very compact when it is folded. This enables him/her to travel normally on planes, public transport or cars which have already been fitted with a powerchair docking station. The patient may also utilise public restrooms whenever required, regardless of the location.
Before a patient needs to be lifted, she/he presses the controls from his/her adapted HMI and the telescopic hoist deploys itself. (Video of the telescopic hoist will be presented at the conference). https://youtu.be/kClTfJE-EV0
In operation, the remote technology can be used. It consists of a cloud web application hosted in a NodeJS runtime environment. This technology does not require any download of proprietary application. Connection to the hoist happens via Chrome, Safari or any other browser. This provides compatibility and versatility across platforms and devices such as mobile phones, tablets, desktop workstations, notebook or laptop, etc.
The family or carer who wants to control the hoist remotely just needs to have credentials to log in and get control of the hoist and talk to the patient via Video Chat using Web RTC protocol. Hoist Control buttons are also embedded in the Video chat and enable Left, Right, Up and Down movements of the patient on the hoist.
For extra safety the hoist possesses an embedded camera and a 5 G access point that enables control from the device of a third Party. This ensures that family or Carer can monitor that all operations are going safely.
To further improve safety, Computer Vision with an AI algorithm could be utilised to detect anomalies and provide automatic protection to the patient. This is currently being investigated for potential improvement of the hoist.
The telescopic hoist broadens the possibilities of the patient to travel independently.
With the remote control, the carer of family can assist the patient anywhere at any time.
This increases human interactions for the patient with the community through an extended scope of activities.
The telescopic patient hoist is a breakthrough in the extra possibilities that the patient has for getting hoisted anywhere.
At the moment a carer is still required in case something is not working.
Future developments with addition of computer vision with AI will enable increased independence without compromising patient safety.