Category: Transportation, Healthcare, Assistive Technology, Made in India,
Organization name: Arcatron Mobility Pvt Ltd
Launched Date: 2015-08-20
Who has created it: Ganesh Sonawane
Problem statement and how the Accessible Innovation solves the problem.
- Lack of availability of viable products to access washrooms in a safe and convenient manner for individuals needing locomotion assistance (geriatric, locomotor impaired).
- In long term care settings, high level of human factor dependency involved to ensure safe transfers to bathroom from bed. This decreases safety for both caregiver and the dependent. Increases cost of living to hire trained people for safe patient handling.
- Wheelchair users are many a times subject to pressure ulcers due to sustained seating. They need water resistant soft comfort seats for bathing and toileting which are unavailable in India
Our product solves all the three above unaddressed problems.
Tell us who is the target audience and how the accessible innovation will benefit them. Please specify the different target audiences groups and provide numbers and statistics of your current clients as well as what is the potential number of people that the innovation can impact and empower:
Target Audience: (Indian Scenario)
- Senior Citizens: 110 million (20% of them need locomotion assistance)
- Locomotor disabled: 10 million
- and their millions of caregivers, more than 70% of whom face a risk of back and neck pain due to constant lifting and carrying.
How our innovation benefits?: It will enable all of our prospects access accessible washrooms in a safe and convenient manner.
Clientele: We have more than 35 early customers ranging from elders needing home care to spinal cord injured using our product.
Our innovation and its versions has a potential to impact more than 1 million lives in next 5-8 years in India alone.
How is the accessible innovative solution different from current practices or ways of solving the problem?
In elder home care, the most common current practice is to give sponge baths and use bed side commodes which are not hygienic, deprives the person from benefits of shower. Another common way is to lift and carry individuals to bathroom without any assistive aid. This puts the invidual at a potential risk of injuries due to mis handling.
The current best practice is to use a market available commode wheelchair. This doesn't have features to ease transfers from bed to wheelchair and neither the ability to fit over different commodes in different settings which compels using the first two practices.
How is the accessible innovative solution new, different or unique in terms of the technology or implementation?
Some of the basic features required in any product which aims to facilitate easy washroom access for individuals needing locomotion assistance are:
- Easy transfers:
- First step involved in taking either a partially bed ridden person or a wheelchair user is more often of transfer from bed to wheelchair
- There are two pre requisites for the above step: Seat level of wheelchair be matched with bed height which corresponds to feature like height adjustability in chair or bed and No obstruction between wheelchair and bed which corresponds to features like swivel armrest in wheelchair
Barring Arcatron SAS100, Not a single product available in India confirms to the above basic pre requisite. While most of the products available in west have the above features.
- Compatibility with different commodes: Active wheelchair users and elders needing locomotion assistance who travel are able to confirm only availability of accessible bathroom facility in hotels. However, the commodes height varies from 15" to 21". Most products available in India have a fixed commode height clearance of 15-17" which makes them incompatible with many settings. One cannot travel confidently with a shower wheelchair as the settings are uneven. Aractron SAS100 has more than 5 levels of height adjustability which makes it fit over the highest commodes recommended by ADA
- Comfort of the seat: The cushions need to be soft as well as water resistant. A technology unfound in any other peers available in India. This leaves the spinal cord injured and many others suffering from pressure sores in a danger of aggrevating the same while using restrooms. Our product uses a state of art integral soft Pu foam which is water resistant. It is designed for maximum comfort.
How do you get the innovative solution to reach the target audience? Please elaborate on the your go to market strategy and which geographies do you currently work in and what are your future plans for marketing your innovation.
We plan to use existing network of surgical retailers, online market places specially the ones focused on healthcare and our own website to sell products. Currently we are accepting orders only through our website form. We have served customers from Maharashtra, Kerala, Orrissa and even Nepal.
What is the potential impact of the innovative solution on the lives of the target audience? Please elaborate by providing statistics of the current impact and the potential impact.
Our product can revolutionize the delivery of care in long term care settings for more than 20 million prospects. We are currently setting up a manufacturing facility to serve our customers. Our sales is currently limited by production constraints which we will overcome by March'16 with the help of recent fund raising.
Stories of how the Innovation has touched lives.
Story 1: Mr Durga Prasad Patnaik from Orrisa. Profession: CA. An accident last year resulted into spinal cord injury leaving him immobile waist down. He got rehabilitated in CMC Vellore and came home around Sep'15. He couldnt find any solutions available on market with hard plastic seats suitable to sit owing to a high level of injury. This left him humiliated and frustrated by having sponge bath and toilets on bed. He came across our product and after a couple of discussions with our team he placed an order in December. He messaged of how he could take a refreshing shower after 6 months and use toilet in the toilet restoring dignity.
Story 2: Mrs Thanawala from Pune: Her mother in law is bed ridden. It took two people and half an hour of improper handling for Mrs Thanawala to taker her mother in law to bathroom two times a day. She started to face back and neck pain plus had to spend significantly on the caretaker employed for this job. And ofcourse all the pain and inconvenience caused to her mother in law too. Her husband has been our CEO's ex office employee. He came to know about our product and called for a demo. We received the cheque that day itself. From thereon it takes only 5 min and no additonal caretaker for Mrs Thanawala to taker her mother in law to bathroom.