Rise up, a BRIDGE Proof of Concept project to help disabled people and elderly get up

Today, Stéphanie Jacot will share her experience about her ongoing BRIDGE Proof of Concept project hosted by the Haute Ecole Arc – Ingénierie (HES-SO).

Picture: Stéphanie Jacot and Amir Elhajhasan, co-founders of Fair & Square Sàrl

What is your BRIDGE Proof of Concept project about?

Nurses can perform up to 20 times the same tasks daily: transfer patients from the bed to a chair or vice versa, weigh them to ensure optimal drug intake and help them get up after a fall. These tasks increase the patient’s handling and, therefore, the risk of injuries. The necessary tools to perform such charges are all mono-functional. Operating them is time-consuming and burdensome, so the staff will use their muscle power and suffer back issues. Rise up, the innovative medical device we are developing, is a multifunctional solution that can replace up to five different tools currently used daily. In our observations with users, we found that they need a solution to perform every task as quickly and simply as possible. We propose a single device for every typology of patients.

Rise up is configured as a chair with a PVC seat at floor level that can rise at 70 cm from the ground via telescopic cylinders, and it is also a patient lift and sling. The device includes four wheels -two of them with manual brakes- and a security belt to move the patient safely. Armrests are foldable to improve accessibility and transfers. Four load cells have been integrated inside the frame to generate and display the patient’s weight on the remote control’s screen.

What are the next steps?

We are preparing the medical certification, which means clinical trials. Our device will need to be time-tested with actual patients in real situations. A clinical study will be published, highlighting Rise up’s performances and medical staff’s impressions. We will assess compliance with the fundamental requirements of medical professionals.

How was BRIDGE Proof of Concept essential to the development of your project?

BRIDGE Proof of Concept was the most significant boost to our project. It allowed us to develop our solution intensely, knowing that our university had our back through the BRIDGE programme. We had access to every tool one might need to design and test our device’s future features and help from field experts. It is a time to capitalise on previous experience for guaranteed continuous progress.

What advice would you give to new applicants?

To test your ideas and prototypes with as many people as possible while also keeping in mind that you cannot possibly please everyone with one solution.