September 2015

Helping patients and aged care residents to stand is all in a day’s work for many healthcare workers, but it comes at a cost, with nursing assistants suffering one of the highest rates of work-related musculoskeletal injuries.

That’s where a new lightweight, portable ‘U Stand Frame’ (pictured), the most recent product to receive assistance from Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), can make all the difference.

The product currently being manufactured in Adelaide, is the brainchild of Managing Director of INNOVO Healthcare, Allan Perriam, who, as a practising nurse, has firsthand experience of the dilemma faced by health care workers often caught between ‘no-lift’ policies and the immediate needs of those they care for. 

Mr Perriam said he spotted a technology gap in the market for a device to better help carers to transfer patients from sitting to standing positions – and that the resulting technology can even aid patient recovery.

“Compared to many support devices, the U Stand Frame offers a low cost, simple to use, durable, and user friendly patient handling device which is specifically developed to allow the patient to  control the timing, speed and mechanics of the sit-to-stand movement,” said Mr Perriam.

“This eliminates the need for a health care worker to pull up a patient manually from the sitting position to transfer onto a walker, providing patients with the support and leverage to stand up by themselves, which also helps their rehabilitation process.”

Funded by the South Australian Government’s Manufacturing Works Medical Technologies Program, INNOVO Healthcare received 250 hours of clinical validation and engineering advice, as well as 30 hours of market intelligence from Flinders’ MDPP.

As part of that, the MDPP co-ordinated a multi-site trial in aged-care and hospital facilities to validate the practical use of the frame and to obtain end-user feedback.

MDPP Director, Professor Karen Reynolds, said that through that trial, clinicians and end-users had confirmed the product’s value and provided useful design feedback to further enhance it.

“The feedback indicated that the U-Stand frame was a worthy and necessary device, particularly for aged care residents, patients who have deconditioned during their stay, and for rehabilitation exercises,” said Professor Reynolds.

“Significantly, several users who previously required full assistance using a stand up lifter were able to stand independently using the U-Stand Frame,” said Professor Reynolds.

In addition to clinical trial results, the MDPP collated feedback obtained during the MDPP’s unique industry workshop process and a review of target market intelligence, to prepare a market research report.

Mr Perriam has been able to use the results of the trial to promote his product to his target audience and has since received a number of pre-orders for the U Stand Frame.

“Without support from the Medical Technologies Program and the advice and input from the MDPP, it would have been difficult to achieve these results,” said Mr Perriam.   

Follow this link to download a PDF copy of the Media Release: U Stand Frame spares care workers' backs and aids patient recovery (PDF 353KB)


Further Information:   Mrs Kelly Knight, Medical Device Partnering Program | Ph: 08 8201 5977 | Email:  kelly.knight@flinders.edu.au