VSC | An App Designed for You
Can you imagine a world where the end-user would know the exact angles of their power wheelchair?
Where they would no longer have to guess if they were positioned correctly for pressure management? Or where they could easily go to an angle of tilt to access smaller entryways without the question of, “Did I tilt far enough back?”. All of this is now possible with Virtual Seating Coach by Permobil. You can now download a free app and pair with your power wheelchair to view your seat angles in real time.
To further discuss Virtual Seating Coach, this week we are going to hear from a guest blogger Stacey Mullis. Stacey is the director of Clinical Marketing for Permobil in the US and has over 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist.
Let’s face it: it can be overwhelming to learn every function that a power wheelchair has, every aspect of medical management, and manage daily ADL routines. Certainly, it’s helpful to be trained by a seating therapist on how often to change positions and the specific angles of changes. But to say that it becomes a habit right away? Not going to happen!
The University of Pittsburgh conducted a study on two groups of end users. Both groups received training on the frequency of position change as well as the angles/positions to go into. One of the groups was then provided with the Virtual Seating Coach app in addition to that training, and their use of power seat functions increased by 40%! It’s all about building habits, and the more automatic a behaviour becomes the less overwhelming it is.
How does VSC work?
Your seating therapist should have already done an extensive, thorough evaluation to get you into your current seating system. As a result, he or she will know your clinical needs based on your medical and physical condition, your prognosis, and risk factors, and he or she can individualise a plan just for you! Although there are clinical practice guidelines, your therapist may find that you, for example, will benefit from four small changes in tilt/recline in an hour, then one longer more aggressive tilt and recline the next hour. In this case they will go into their clinic’s portal and assign you a specific regimen accessible through your app. It will literally coach and cue you on the following:
• Frequency of each tilt, recline, and power legs adjustment
• How long to stay in a position before coming out of it
• The angles you should be reaching in tilt, recline, and power legs with indicators that let you know you’ve reached them
Your therapist can set daily goals, and you can start noticing the benefit of this healthy habit of movement. The VSC app will automatically capture data as you utilise the power seat functions daily. This data will allow you and your therapist to monitor progress toward your repositioning goals.
The Virtual Seating Coach is one way you can be empowered to manage your care and decrease the health risks of immobility.