Biloine W. Young • Mon, November 24th, 2014
Therapists at Virginia Mason Hospital and Seattle Medical Center have invented a “therapy car” which they use to help patients recovering from hip and knee replacement surgery practice getting in and out of a vehicle without injuring themselves.
As Deborah Cutchin, director of the Virginia Mason Kaizen Promotion Office, explained, “A patient with a new hip or knee faces restrictions and physical limitations that make getting in and out of a car a significant challenge. Until our team developed the therapy car, none of our patients was able to realistically practice getting in and out of a vehicle before they actually got into one to go home after surgery.”
The hospital has applied to the U.S. Patent office for a patent on the car. The patent application reads, “The therapy device includes an adjustable ground clearance, an adjustable seat, an adjustable roof line, and a floor plate. The therapy device is portable, lightweight, and compact. Patients may use the therapy device in a physical therapy setting in order to practice getting into and out of a passenger seat that resembles the passenger seat of their own vehicle.”