Hoyer Lifts are used in hospitals, homes, and nursing homes to move people with low mobility between positions (bed to wheelchair, chair to toilet, etc.). Conventional hoyer lifts require a second person who can manually operate the machine to assist. When a person requires assistance to operate the device that places their body where they want it, their sense of independence suffers—particularly when the bathroom is involved and privacy is a concern. In home health environments where patients have to hire assistance, there is also an additional cost concern.
This team seeks to provide a more affordable method for paraplegic patients to exercise autonomy over their bodies. They have designed the User-Operated Hoyer Lift, which features easy to use, joystick style controls that allow the user to operate the device independently. The reduced cost and increased independence afforded by an autonomous Hoyer lift will increase users’ quality of life. The prototype consists of a standard Hoyer Lift retrofitted with motors to provide translational motion and a linear actuator to provide lift. The group designed and machined custom fasteners for these new parts.
An initial prototype has been completed, and the group plans to allow end users to test the device to guide the revision process.